KARACHI - An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday allowed suspended SSP Rao Anwar’s plea for better class facilities in jail. The court adjourned the Naqeebullah murder case till June 14.  The ATC issued verdict on Rao Anwar’s plea, main accused in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case. The complainant in the case (father of the deceased Naqeebullah) had opposed Rao Anwar’s plea.

The court also heard another plea moved by the complainant challenging the notification to declare Rao Anwar’s residence as a sub-jail. The trial court observed that it would announce a verdict after the Sindh High Court disposes of an identical plea moved by the same complainant.  Earlier, the SHC directed the home secretary to submit comments on a plea against declaring Rao Anwar’s house as sub-jail.

The complainant challenged the declaration of Anwar’s residence as a sub-jail, saying the authorities concerned had provided unlawful facilities to a suspect involved in the killing of an innocent young man. His counsel had claimed that Anwar had not moved any application to declare his residence as a sub-jail. The bail applications moved by the accused were put on hearing, but due to absence of the complainant’s counsel, Faisal Siddiqui, the court adjourned the hearing for the next date.  During the hearing, suspended Malir SSP Rao Anwar and his subordinates were produced before the court for an in-camera hearing. The court again issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of former SHO of Shah Latif Town police Amanullah Marwat and 11 other absconding cops and directed the authorities to produce them before the court at the next hearing. The court was informed that the police conducted several raids to arrest the absconders but so far no arrest has been made.  The main accused, Rao Anwar, was produced in the court with protocol and without handcuffs as usual, despite the prosecution lawyer's earlier objections.

Suspended SSP Rao Anwar and his 11 detained subordinates and 15 absconding officers are accused of abducting an aspiring model, Naseemullah, better known as Naqeebullah Mehsud, for ransom and killing him with three other detainees by dubbing them ‘militants’ in a staged encounter in Malir on Jan 13.

The prosecution submitted that despite the court order, the police failed to provide security to the witnesses. The prosecution added that the witnesses are still facing life threats as they have been receiving threats by the suspects.

Earlier, the complainant’s counsel, Advocate Salahuddin Panhwar, asked the court that how justice could be served in such an environment when witnesses are being threatened.