Naqeebullah fake encounter: Key witness retracts statement against Anwar

Says police tortured him in to giving a false statement against Anwar

OUR CORRESPONDENT

KARACHI

The witness in Naqeebullah Mehsud fake encounter case on Monday retracted his statement, accusing Sindh Police of coercing him into making a confession implicating former SSP Rao Anwar.

The case came up for hearing before Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Karachi on Monday.

Rao Anwar was also produced before the ATC today.

During the proceedings, witness Shahzad Jahangir back-tracked form his statement and said he had no knowledge of the extra-judicial killing of Naqeebullah. “The police coerced, subjected me to torture to give statement against Anwar.”

“I received a call from the SP Office on February 17. When I went there on February 18, I was arrested” his statement read.

There, he said, he had been intimidated, threatened, and tortured by police personnel to provide a statement which was not based on facts, since he had not been present at the time of the encounter.

He added that his life was in danger and requested the court to provide him security.

Former SSP Malir Rao Anwar and other accused will be indicted on May 19 in Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case.

Former SSP Malir Rao Anwar and other accused were presented in the court. The challan of the case was also filed in the court during the hearing of the case.

According to challan, the accused persons killed Naqeebullah Mehsud and other three persons in fake police encounter. A case in this regard has been registered on the report of SSP Investigation Abid Qaim Khawani. In the challan, Rao Anwar and DSP Qamar have been shown as arrested.

The investigation officer Dr Rizwan told the court copies of the case have been provided to the accused.

The lawyers of the accused persons took the plea in the court that the copies of the case provided by the police are incomplete.

Meanwhile, the counsel for Anwar filed an application requesting transfer to B-class jail from the current C-class in Karachi’s Central Jail. Pointing out that Anwar had not been convicted of a crime, the application sought permission for holding him in B-class jail.

Tribal leaders and family of Naqeebullah objected to the VIP protocol being extended to the prime accused. They said Anwar was an accused and should be brought before the court in the manner befitting an ordinary suspect.

The counsel for Naqeebullah also challenged Anwar’s application for B-class jail. Lamenting the decision to declare Malir Cantt Police Station as a subj-jail for Rao Anwar, he said that providing relief to Anwar on a single phone call appears to be  a fraud. “The court should have passed a written order to permit declaration of a sub-jail for the suspect.”

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court adjourned hearing until May 19 and advised Anwar to present further arguments to make his case for his pleas pertaining to bail and transfer to B-class jail. The court hinted at indicting the suspects in the next hearing.

The court directed investigation officer to provide complete documents to the counsels of the accused on next hearing.

Further hearing of the case was adjourned till May 19.

 

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