A prosecution witness on Thursday retracted his statement against former SSP Malir Rao Anwar during the trial of Naqeebullah murder case.
Twenty-three policemen, including Anwar, have been charged with the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsud, whose real name was Naseemullah Mehsud, who along with three others, Sabir, Nazar Jan and Ishaq, was killed in a fake encounter on the outskirts of the city on January 13, 2018.
The witness, who is also a police officer, said the joint investigation team which probed the extrajudicial killings had arrived at the Malir Cantonment police station on March 31 where he was a duty officer then.
He said the JIT members had told him that Anwar had been summoned to the police station for questioning. He said the JIT team and the accused stayed in the police station for around two hours conducting their proceeding.
The witness said that he had not visited the crime scene along with the JIT team to which the prosecutor argued that he was retracting his previous statement which he gave to the investigation team. The witness said he stated the truth on oath.
Meanwhile, the ATC judge expressed annoyance over the absence of the investigation officer of the case, SSP Abid Qaimkhani, and other witnesses from hearing. The court directed the focal person of the case to ensure their presence on November 11.
It is pertinent to recall here that Anwar, Qamar Ahmed, Muhammad Yaseen, Supurd Hussain and Khizar Hayat are on bail. Thirteen men who are in judicial custody in jail are Allah Yar Kaka, Muhammad Iqbal, Arshad Ali, Ghulam Nazuk, Abdul Ali, Shafiq Ahmed, Shakeel, Muhammad Anar, Khair Muhammad, Faisal Mehmood, Ali Akbar, Raees Abbas Zaidi and Syed Imran Kazmi. Seven men – Amanullah Marwat, Shaikh Muhammad Shoaib, Gada Hussain, Mohsin Abbas, Sadaqat Hussain Shah, Rana Shamim and Riaz – have been declared proclaimed offenders and warrants have been out for their arrests.
Anwar had claimed that the 27-year-old was a terrorist and was killed with his accomplices during a shoot-out with law enforcers in the jurisdiction of the Shah Latif Town police station. Contrary to Anwar’s repeated claim, the investigation did not find any evidence of Naqeeb’s involvement in terrorist activity but observed that Naqeebullah’s social media profile portrayed him as a liberal and fun-loving young man with a penchant for modelling.
The ATC had begun the trial in March, 2019. Father of the slain youth, Muhammad Khan, who lodged the complaint against police has passed away. He before his death had expressed his distrust in the judicial system and the authorities. He was receiving death threats for pursuing the case.