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SC restrains police from arresting Rao Anwar, asks him to surrender

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday restrained Sindh police from arresting former SSP Malir Rao Anwar facing charges of leading a fake encounter which resulted in the death of aspiring fashion model Naqeebullah Mehsud.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, who heard a suo motu case regarding the extrajudicial murder of Naqeeb, directed the police not to arrest the suspended police officer.

He directed Anwar, who has been eluding the police since registration of a murder case against him, to appear before the court on next hearing on Friday.

The chief justice ordered that the absconding police officer would be provided protection and a joint investigation team would be formed in line with his demands to probe the charges against him.

Sindh police chief Allah Dino Khowaja informed the court that a committee had been constituted to trace whereabouts of Anwar.

CJP Nisar admonished him over failure to arrest the absconding cop, saying the court would have to arrest him now.

Quoting a letter written to him by Rao Anwar, the chief justice said the suspended SSP claimed that he was innocent and was not present at the time of the encounter.

In an earlier hearing, the apex court had ordered all state institutions to extend support to Sindh Police to trace the former SSP Malir.

He had set 10-day deadline for the Sindh police chief to ensure his arrest.

Naqeebullah Mehsud was killed in a staged encounter led by former SSP Rao Anwar on January 13, 2018 in the eastern suburb of Karachi.

The police officer claimed that Mehsud had links with proscribe organisations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Islamic State.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed to probe the case later revealed that Naqeebullah’s death was an extrajudicial killing.

It had found no criminal record of the deceased and thus, recommended registration of a murder case against Rao Anwar and his team that partook in the encounter.

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