Press Trust of india

Absconding police officer arrested in Pak

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Islamabad, Mar 21 : A suspended police officer, wanted in a fake encounter of a 27-year-old youth, was arrested today from the premises of the Supreme Court here.

Former Senior Superintendent of Police Rao Anwar appeared before the court hearing suo moto cases about the extrajudicial killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud in Karachi in January.

Anwar's sudden appearance was a major surprise as he could not be tracked down by police and intelligence agencies despite deadlines by the court.

He was last seen at Islamabad airport trying to flee the country on a Dubai-bound flight on January 23 before he was stopped by immigration officials. Since then, there had been no trace of the absconding officer.

The apex court had issued warning that the absconding police officer could only save him by appearing in the court and facing the legal process if he was innocent.

During the hearing, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar rejected Anwar's application for protective bail and ordered police to arrest him.

The bench ordered the formation of a five-member Joint Investigation Team to probe the case.

The court also ordered that Anwar was not allowed to leave the country. However, he was allowed to unfreeze his bank accounts including the one used for crediting of his salary.

Mehsud, a 27-year old owner of a shop with interest in modelling, belonged to the tribal region on the border with Afghanistan. He was among four suspects killed in an encounter with a police team headed by Anwar in Karachi.

Anwar alleged that Mehsud was part of banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and required due to involvement in militancy. Both TTP and his relatives disputed the claim, leading to an official police probe that concluded that Mehsud was innocent.

Tribesmen also had protested for weeks demanding arrest of Anwar before the Supreme Court intervened.

Anwar was working as SSP of restive Malir district in Karachi. He is said to have instrumental in killing around 250 alleged terrorists in dozens of encounters.

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