Naqeebullah Murder Case: Police Encounter by Rao Anwar, former SSP, Malir District, Karachi and his Team

Naqeebullah Murder Case: Police Encounter by Rao Anwar, former SSP, Malir District, Karachi and his Team

HRC No. 1949-K of 2018 [In the matter of murder of Naqeebullah Masood in alleged fake police encounter in Karachi]

On 18.01.2018, Complainant Manzoor Ahmed Pashteen, filed a complaint, addressed to the Honourable Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan, against Extra Judicial Murder of Naqeebullah Masood. Naqeebullah Masood was residing in Karachi since 2008 and aspiring to become a model. On 02.01.2018 he was apprehended by Counter Terrorism Department, Karachi (CTD) and was allegedly murdered by Rao Anwar, SSP Malir, on 17.01.2018.

On 23.01.2018, the FIR was also lodged by the Complaint, Muhammad Khan, father of the deceased, Naqeebullah Masood under Sections 365/302/109/344/34 PPC read with Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act, 1997 (ATA) at Police Station Sachal.

The Honourable Supreme Court took Suo Moto Notice of alleged extra judicial killing of Naqeebullah Masood. In the course of proceeding before the Honourable Supreme Court, the Court Ordered Inspector General Sindh to submit a report regarding the alleged encounter of Naqeebullah Masood, which was submitted on 26.01.2018. The Court issued the notice to Rao Anwar, SSP Malir, to personally appear before this Court on next date of hearing and also ordered to place his name on Exit Control List (ECL). The IG Sindh also assured the Court that all possible efforts are being made to arrest Rao Anwar and others involved in this matter, however, he requested for more time and support of Agencies, such as I.S.I., M.I. and I.B. in this regard. The Court directed the aforementioned Agencies to provide their best possible support to Police Authorities for purpose of locating the hideout of the accused, Rao Anwar and procure his arrest. The Court also ordered IG Sindh to provide protection to the complainant and the witnesses.

In the Inquiry Report dated: 25.01.2018 the Committee has come to the conclusion that the police encounter that resulted in the death of Naqeebullah Masood was prima facie a fake/staged encounter. Further, Naqeebullah was illegal kept in confinement and was badly tortured. Despite RoaAnwer’spresistant claims, there is no evidence which suggests that Naqeebullah had any involvement in terrorist activities, in fact, Naqeebullah’s social media profile clearly shows that he was a liberal minded and fun loving person, with a penchant for modelling. It is also pertinent to mention here that no criminal record was found against Naqeebullah in Karachi, as stated in the letter from the office of the Superintendent of Police, NausharoFeroze, dated: 25.01.2018.

On 13.02.2018 the Human Right Cell of the Supreme Court received a typed letter (in Urdu), purportedly written by Rao Anwar in which he has requested that an independent Joint Investigation Team (JIT) be reconstituted to investigate the matter independently and protective bail may be granted to him till the JIT completes its investigation. The Court held that this request would be considered when Rao Anwar appears before this court on the next date of hearing and make this request in person. On the next date the IG Sindh informed the Court that on the evening of 13.02.2018 Rao Anwar got in touch with him on WhatsApp and expressed his desire to appear before this Honourable Court. However, he has failed to comply with previous Order of this Court by not appearing before it, therefore the Court withdrew its previous Order. The Sindh Police was directed to continue its efforts for the arrest of Rao Anwar and Agencies such as M.I., I.S.I., I.B., FIA and FC were ordered to submit their respective reports stating what support has been provided by them to Sindh Police.

On 12.03.2018 additional documents, including Summary of Police Encounter Cases of District Malir during tenure of SSP Anwar Ahmed Khan, Call Record of SSP Anwar Ahmed Khan and others at the time of incident, and Dawn Article titled ‘Dawn Investigation: Rao Anwar and the killing fields of Karachi’ dated: 16.02.2018,were submitted on behalf of the Complainant.

On 21.03.2018, Rao Anwar appeared in Court along with his Counsel and surrendered before the Court. The Order placing bar on the operation of his bank accounts by the State Bank was lifted and NADRA was also directed to unblock his CNIC. The JIT was also constituted to investigate the matter initiated vide FIR No.40/2018. However, the request for the grant of protective bail was rejected and the Police Officials were directed to take him in custody outside of the Court. The IG Sindh was also directed to protect the life of Rao Anwar during the period of his custody with police. The JIT was also ordered to conduct the investigation fairly and conclude it expeditiously without being influence by any proceeding/orders passed by this Court in the past or by any adverse media coverage. However, the court ordered that Rao Anwar name will remain in ECL till further orders are pass by this court.

The Counsel for Roa Anwar had moved Application HRMA No. 813 of 2018 for the removal of the Applicant’s name form the Exit Control List.  On 10.1.2019, the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan held that the no case had been made out for removing the Applicant’s name from the ECL, hence, the said application was dismissed accordingly.

The following documents are available for viewing online:

  1. Supreme Court Order dated: 23.01.2018
  2. Supreme Court Order dated: 27.01.2018
  3. Supreme Court Order dated: 01.02.2018
  4. Supreme Court Order dated: 13.02.2018
  5. Supreme Court Order dated: 16.02.2018
  6. Supreme Court Order dated: 05.03.2018
  7. Supreme Court Order dated: 13.03.2018
  8. Supreme Court Order dated: 21.03.2018
  9. Supreme Court Order dated: 10.01.2019
  10. Summary of Police Encounter Cases of District Malir during tenure of SSP Anwar Ahmed Khan
  11. Call Record of SSP Anwar Ahmed Khan and others at the time of incident
  12. Dawn Article dated: 16.02.2018
  13. Interim inquiry report regarding the alleged encounter of Naqeebullah Masood
  14. Final inquiry report regarding the alleged encounter of Naqeebullah Masood

Special Case No. 323/2018 [The State vs. Anwar Ahmed & Others]

On 23.01.2018, the Complainant, Muhammad Khan, father of the deceased Naqeebullah, sent an application to SHO, Police Station Sachal, and on the basis of that application FIR No. 40/2018 was registered on 23.01.2018. The complainant stated that his son was abducted along with his friends Hazrat Ali and Muhammad Qasim, from Gul Sher Agha Hotel, Chappel Garden, Abdul Hassan Isphani Road, Karachi, at around 3 pm on 03.01.2018, by Rao Anwar and 8/9 other police officials. Hazrat Ali and Muhammad Qasim were released on 06.01.2018, however, his son was kept in custody by Rao Anwar and was later murdered by Rao Anwar and his associates in a fake police encounter at around 3 pm on 13.01.2018.

On the basis of said FIR, Special Case No. 323 of 2018 was registered against 25 accused persons, out of which 7 were absconding, and 18 were tried by the ATC, including Rao Anwar, DSP Qamar Sheikh etc.

An Enquiry Committee was constituted by the Inspector General of Police Sindh in this matter. The committee submitted its final report on 25.01.2018 which confirmed the presence of Rao Anwar at the time and place of the incident and that he was in contact with other co-accused on the same date and time.

On 26.01.2018, the statements of witnesses Hazrat Ali and Muhammad Qasim were recorded before the Judicial Magistrate which revealed that they were abducted along with Naqeebullah Masood on 03.01.2018 and were taken to Sachal Police Chowki then taken to an unknown place where the police officer, Rao Anwar was. The three of them got locked in a room for almost four hours and then someone came into the room and asked their names, jobs, hometowns, and if they belonged to the Mehsud tribe. All three of them were brutally tortured by Rao Anwar and his team. Hazrat Ali and Muhammad Qasim were released on 06.01.2018. On 17.01.2018 Hazrat Ali heard the voice of Rao Anwar on social media and identified it as the voice of the same person who asked for their name, address etc.

On 04.03.2018, FIR No. 142 of 2018 was registered against Rao Anwar & his gang under Section 26, Sindh Arms Act, 2013, r/w Section 7, ATA, 1997, & Section 3 & 4 of Explosive Substances Act. The said FIR is an offshoot of main FIR no. 40 of 2018.

On 13.03.2018, Charge Sheet was submitted to the Court and on 27.04.2018 Supplementary Charge Sheet was submitted to the court and it explicitly states that from examination of the statement of the witnesses under Section 161, the memo of examination of the place of incident, and other circumstantial evidence against Rao Anwar and other accused persons, it is proved that they have committed extra-judicial murder of the deceased persons. The accused Rao Anwar was the head of the team involved in the illegal encounter of the deceased and the encounter took place at his direction.

The JIT, which was constituted by the Supreme Court through its order dated: 21.03.2018, also submitted its report before the ATC court. The digital evidence was examined in both the JIT Report and Supplementary Charge Sheet and the presence of accused Rao Anwar at the place incident at 2.55 to 3.21 pm has been established.

After 2 months of absconding Rao Anwar was arrested from Supreme Court Premises. On 21.04.2018, the Investigation Officer produced the accused Rao Anwar before the Honourable Anti-Terrorism Court for seeking Judicial Custody which was granted. However, instead of being transferred to Central Jail, the accused Rao Anwar was transferred to his home, Multan Lines, Malir Cantonment, Karachi, which was declared sub-jail through a Notification dated: 21-04-2018, issued by Home Secretary Sindh. On 10.07.2018 Rao Anwar was granted Bail despite all evidence against him.

Unfortunately, all 18 accused were acquitted through the Anti-Terrorism Court vide judgment dated 23.01.2023 based on the following grounds:

  • Unexplained delay in FIR and 161 statements of the eyewitnesses
  • Dishonest improvement in the evidence of eyewitnesses and other witnesses
  • None of the present accused is alleged any direct role in the murder of the deceased
  • CDR of the present accused is not proved in accordance with the law
  • CDR of Accused Rao Anwar shows his arrival at the crime scene after the incident was over
  • no evidence of pre-planned meeting, planning and conspiracy to prove the common intention of the present accused with the absconding accused

The following documents are available for viewing online:

  1. Copy of the FIR No. 40/2018
  2. Inquiry Report dated: 19.01.2018 & 25.01.2018
  3. Statement of Hazrat Ali and Muhammad Qasim 26.01.2018
  4. Charge Sheet dated: 13.03.2018
  5. Supplementary Charge Sheet dated: 27.04.2018
  6. JIT Report
  7. Copy of the Notification dated: 21.04.2018
  8. Shahzada Jehangir Affidavit dated: 10.05.2018
  9. Application for protection of witnesses, complainant and counsel of complainant

C.P. No. 4256 of 2018 [Muhammad Khan vs. Province of Sindh and others]

The above-named Petition was filed by Muhammad Khan, father of the deceased Naqeebullah Masood, before the Honourable Sindh High Court, in order to challenge the legality and constitutionality of the Notification No. SO(PRS-I)HD/II-174/2015, dated: 21-04-2018, issued by Home Secretary Sindh, declaring Rao Anwar home as sub-jail. The case was heard by Chief Justice of Sindh High Court on 01.06.2018. The Counsel for Rao Anwar, without receiving any notice, appeared before the court, however the Honourable Chief Justice refused to listen to his contentions. The Notice was issued by the Chief Justice and the case was fixed for hearing.

It has been submitted before the Honourable High Court of Sindh by the Additional Advocate General, Sindh, that vide Notification No. HD/SO(PRS-I)/11-174/2015, dated 22.01.2019, Notification dated: 21.04.2018, whereby Roa Anwar’s home was declared as a sub-jail,  has been cancelled. In view of the same the above-named Petition has been withdrawn by the Petitioner, as recorded in Order dated: 25.01.2019.

The following documents are available for viewing online:

  1. Memo of Constitutional Petition
  2. Copy of the Notification dated 21.04.2018
  3. Copy of the Notification dated: 22.01.2019
  4. Supreme Court Order dated: 25.01.2019