KARACHI - An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi on Monday indicted former SSP Malir Rao Anwar in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case on Monday.

However, Rao Anwar pleaded not guilty to the charges and he files appeal against SC order

Naqeebullah Meshud, an aspiring model, was among four men killed in a staged police encounter carried out in January 2018 by former Anwar and his team at Usman Khaskheli Goth on the outskirts of Karachi. Anwar claimed that Naqeebullah, Sabir, Nazar Jan, and Ishaq were Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants.

Out of those indicted, the former cop along with DSP Qamar, Muhammad Yaseen, SI Hussain, and Hazrat Hayat are currently on bail while 13 others are imprisoned. Another seven suspects have been declared absconders after failing to appear before the court.

After the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, the court summoned the complainant and the magistrate who recorded witness statements, and adjourned the hearing till April 11.

As per history of the case, shortly after the news of the fake encounter surfaced, a high-level inquiry committee comprising senior police officials had also concluded that the deceased had no ties with militants.

The inquiry team probing the extrajudicial killing found that the Waziristan native was killed in a ‘staged’ encounter on January 13, 2018.

The incident garnered outrage leading to countrywide protests. The Supreme Court of Pakistan took a suo-moto notice of the matter and summoned Anwar – who went underground.

On January 23, 2018, Anwar was caught by immigration officials at the Islamabad airport trying to board a Dubai-bound flight. However, the former cop, again, went missing after eluding law enforcement agencies.