Four policemen detained for their involvement in the alleged extrajudicial killing of 27-year-old aspiring model Naqeebullah Mehsud pleaded not guilty before a court in Karachi on Wednesday.
Police had informed the court in an initial report that assistant sub-inspector Allahyar, head constables Khizar Hayat and Mohammad Iqbal, and constable Arshad Ali had wished to confess to their involvement in the abduction and killing of Mehsud.
When the four policemen were presented before a judicial magistrate, they refused to confess to their involvement in the murder.
The magistrate in his report submitted to the administrative judge of an anti-terrorism court said that police had been ordered to present the suspects before the court on a request of the investigating officer, however, the policemen pleaded not guilty.
The police officials told the magistrate that they had been “trapped” in the case and that the real culprits are some other people.
The four men were among six police officials — sub-inspector Mohammad Yasin and assistant sub-inspector Supurd Hussain being the other two — who were presented before the ATC today.
The court subsequently sent all suspects to jail. It also ordered police to arrest 15 absconders in the case, including former SSP Malir Rao Anwar — who has been accused of leading the ‘encounter’ in which Mehsud was killed — by February 16.
The court also directed the investigating officer to complete the investigation of the case and present a report at the next hearing.
The six policemen were arrested on January 26. On the following day, the administrative judge of anti-terrorism courts had remanded them to police custody.
Suspended SP Anwar, Shah Latif Town SHO Amanullah Marwat, SHO of the SITE Superhighway police station Annar Khan and 12 other policemen were named as absconders in the case.
According to the prosecution, policemen in plainclothes had picked up Naseemullah, better known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, with his two friends from a tea shop on Abul Hassan Ispahani Road on Jan 3, kept them in wrongful detention and subjected to torture. Three days later, the two friends were dumped on the Superhighway on the night of Jan 6.
On Jan 17, the captive’s relatives came to know through the media that Rao Anwar and his associates allegedly killed Mehsud and three others in a staged encounter in a Shah Latif Town area on Jan 13 and dubbed them as militants of banned outfits.
The provincial police officer had constituted a three-member inquiry committee that found Rao Anwar and his associates involved in the case, it added.
A case against Rao Anwar and his associates was registered under Sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), 365 (kidnapping with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with Section 7 of the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 on a complaint of the deceased’s father, Mohammad Khan, at the Sachal police station.