Sindh

Rao Anwar fails to appear before ATC due to ‘deteriorating health’

Suspended SSP Rao Anwar failed to appear before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case today over “deteriorating health conditions”.
Mehsud, a 27-year-old native of South Waziristan, was killed in a fake encounter by a police team headed by Anwar in the outskirts of the metropolis on January 13 this year.
During the hearing on Wednesday, the authorities informed the court that Anwar has fallen sick and a doctor had come to check him. 
Anwar’s medical certificate, submitted to the court, stated that Anwar can’t be presented due to his illness, the exact nature of which was not mentioned.
Moreover, investigating officer SSP Dr Rizwan’s non-appearance in court irked the ATC judge who summoned him immediately. He later appeared before the court. 
“Please tell us what measures have been taken to arrest the absconding suspects,” the court remarked, referring to the members of Anwar’s ‘encounter team’ who are yet to be arrested. 
Additionally, the court also approved the interim challan in the case.
As per the geofencing report, Anwar was present at the crime scene, the challan states, adding that all the suspects were in contact with each other before and after the incident.
Rao Anwar failed to provide evidence that he wasn’t involved in the incident, says challan noting that Rao Anwar didn’t share all the facts during the investigation and resorted to delaying tactics. 
The investigation so far has revealed that Rao Anwar is the central character in the extrajudicial killing, it said. The challan states that 12 suspects have been taken into custody, while 13 others are missing.
The court also ordered authorities to ensure Anwar’s appearance in the next hearing, warning of summoning his doctor otherwise. 
The court had then adjourned the hearing till May 14, extending his judicial remand.
‘Anwar’s residence in Malir Cantt declared sub-jail’ 
During the hearing, the court was informed by the government of a notification declaring the Multan Lines in Malir Cantt as a sub-jail.
Sources said that though the notification does not mention it explicitly, the location of the sub-jail is, in fact, Anwar’s own residence in the military cantonment.
The notification explained that on April 21 the court had ordered Anwar’s shifting to central jail but due to security issues, the home department directed the jails inspector general to move him to Malir Cantt.
‘Rao Anwar is sly, not sick’ 
While speaking to media outside the ATC today, Naqeebullah’s family members remarked: “Rao Anwar is sly, not sick”.
They also said that they are hoping for justice from the courts.
“After God, we expect justice from courts.”
The lawyer of Naqeebullah’s father, Salahuddin, said that the primary suspect in the high-profile case was brought to the court without handcuffs at the last hearing. 
Justice can’t be dispensed if Rao Anwar keeps getting protocol, he remarked.
Salahuddin shared that Naqeebullah’s relatives have come to the court all the way from Peshawar. 
Naqeebullah murder case
Anwar had declared Naqeebullah a terrorist after news of the fake encounter aired on television on January 18. 
A case on the incident was filed on January 19, while Anwar was suspended from duty the next day.
The Supreme Court had ordered Anwar to appear on January 27, but the suspended SSP remained on the run for at least two months.
Cases have been filed against 24 accused in the murder case of Naqeebullah. Out of the count, 11 have been arrested while 13 others are absconding.
A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed under the directives of the Supreme Court found the suspended Malir SSP responsible for the killing of Mehsud and three others in an alleged encounter in Karachi.
The use of geo-fencing technology has established Anwar’s presence at the time of the incident. 
He was also present with Naqeebullah when the youth was arrested, and where he was kept during captivity, sources close to the JIT have revealed.