KARACHI -  Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja on Saturday removed Rao Anwar from the post of SSP Malir over the killing of a man in an alleged staged shootout that sparked anger and protests nationwide.

Rao Anwar and other officers last week killed at least four men during what they claimed was a raid on a suspected Taliban hideout in Karachi.

Relatives of one of the dead men, who was identified as Naqeebullah Mehsud, 27, from South Waziristan Agency, rejected the claims of militant links and said he was an aspiring model who arrived in Karachi in 2008 in search of job and had been running a shop in the city.

The killing led to a national outcry after Mehsud's modelling pictures posted on social media went viral, triggering protest rallies in several cities.

A government committee interrogated Rao Anwar on Friday and recommended his immediate removal "to ensure fair and transparent inquiry of the incident and investigation of the case", according to the official notification.

The Sindh IGP has also requested a travel ban on Rao Anwar and his team so they cannot leave the country.

Chief Justice of Pakistan has ordered the provincial government to submit a report into the killing within a week.

The Sindh IGP took action after an inquiry committee led by AIG CTD Sanaullah Abbasi found Naqeebullah Mehsud innocent in its initial report against Rao Anwar-led police encounter.

The committee that submitted its initial report called for ensuring fair probe into the encounter along with transfer and suspension of Rao Anwar and SP Investigation-II East Altaf Sarwar Malik.

It said the committee is of unanimous opinion that in order to ensure fair and transparent investigation into the case, SSP Malir Rao Anwar and SP Investigation-II East Malik Altaf Sarwar may be transferred and placed under suspension. The committee further recommended that Rao Anwar and the police party in the reported encounter may be placed on the Exit Control List (ECL).

Acting on the recommendation of the initial inquiry probe, the IGP ordered that Rao and Sarwar have been transferred from their respective places of posting and directed them to report to Central Police Office (CPO).

A letter has been written to the Chief Secretary, Government of Sindh with a request to place both above-named officers under suspension as recommended by the committee. A letter has also been written to Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan, for placement of the names of Rao and the police party on ECL immediately as recommended by the committee. Additional IGP Karachi has been directed to take necessary action against the police party in accordance with rules in the light of recommendation of the committee.

Additional IGP Karachi has been directed to ensure that the incumbent SSP Malir and SP Investigation-II East shall finalise the investigation of the case strictly on merits in a professional manner. Probe is under progress and the inquiry committee has been directed to complete the inquiry after talking to heirs of the deceased and the police party and submit its conclusive findings within five days.

It is pertinent to mention here that SSP Anwar appeared before a departmental inquiry committee on Friday and submitted the Mehsud's criminal record. He said a kidnapping for ransom case against Naqeebullah was registered in 2014. He also submitted details of the criminal record to committee.

Meanwhile, an officer of Police Service of Pakistan (BS-18) Adeel Hussain Chandio was appointed as SSP District Malir, replacing Rao Anwar along with other transfers and postings in the department.

Sheeraz Nazeer, an officer of Police Service of Pakistan (BS-19), Senior Superintendent of Police District, Qambar-Shahdadkot range, has been transferred and posted as SSP District City Karachi range in place of Chandio.

Dr Assad Ijaz Malhi, an officer of Police Service of Pakistan (BS-18), Senior Superintendent of Police Clifton Division, South Zone, Karachi has been transferred and posted as Superintendent of Police District Qambar-Shahdadkot in place Nazeer.

Abid Hussain Qaimkhani, an officer of Police Service of Pakistan (BS-18), ADIGP (ADMN) training Sindh Karachi, has been transferred and posted as Superintendent of Police Investigation-II East Zone Karachi against an existing vacancy.



Our Staff Reporter/Agencies