ISLAMABAD: A senior Pakistani policeman accused of extra-judicial police killings surrendered has been arrested after his surprise appearance at the Supreme Court on Wednesday after absconding for two months.
Suspended senior superintendent of police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar was arrested for allegedly killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a youth from South Waziristan. The 27-year-old was killed in a police encounter on January 13 in Karachi, sparking outrage across the country.
Soon after, the Supreme Court took notice of the incident after authorities failed to arrest him. After several deadlines by the Court, Rao surprisingly appeared in the Supreme Court of Pakistan after weeks of hiding.
“Take Rao Anwar into custody,” Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar ordered police after Anwar appeared in court, the English-language Dawn newspaper said.
CJP also ordered the formation of a joint investigation team (JIT) headed by Sindh Police’s Additional IG Aftab Pathan and comprising four senior officers of Sindh Police to probe the case. The court also ordered authorities to unfreeze Anwar’s bank accounts so “his children” won’t face financial problems.
Following the Court directions, Anwar was arrested from outside the court by the Islamabad Police and taken to the heavily protected Diplomatic Enclave. He was later transferred to the Sindh Police’s custody which will transport him to Karachi.
Fugitive cop Rao Anwar was accused of killing Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud and three others in a ‘fake police encounter’ on January 13.
Police initially claimed that the deceased was affiliated with militants but the Sindh Police probe committee report declared that Mehsud was innocent.
The extrajudicial killing of 27-year-old Naqeebullah Mehsud sparked national outrage and led to protests by social activists and Mehsud tribe in Karachi and Islamabad.
Rao Anwar’s arrest brought some relief to the grieving parents. Mehsud’s father and dozens of relatives were present at the court when Rao was arrested. “Now I am hopeful that I will get justice,” Mehsud’s father told media.