KARACHI - An anti-terrorism court Tuesday granted bail to suspended SSP Malir Rao Anwar in Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case. The court also adjourned hearing of the main case until July 27.

The ATC II judge announced the judgement of the bail plea moved by Rao Anwar, main suspect. The co-accused were also produced before the court that announced the judgement in the presence of both the parties. The court granted his bail plea in the sum of Rs1 million. The court has adjourned hearing of bail applications moved by other accused till July 16.

The accused were brought to the court in an armoured personnel carrier escorted by several police mobile vans and produced in court amid tight security.

The Investigation Officer of the case was absence and despite the court direction, the geo–fencing report was not submitted.

The court had sought argument on the geo-fencing reports submitted by the IO, South SSP Dr Rizwan, relating to the Call Data Record (CDR) and geo-fencing of the mobile phones of the suspects. The court noted that the arguments on the report could have been heard if the IO was present in the proceeding.

On July 5, the court had reserved its judgment on the bail plea after hearing final arguments from both the sides. 

The court again issued direction to arrest the absconding police officers and produce them before the court the court in the next hearing. The nominated police officers had gone into hiding soon after demands for their arrest in the Naqeebullah murder case had gained traction.

Earlier, the court had ordered to provide Rao Anwar “better class” in the prison, and his house was already declared as sub jail.

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

Expressing his dissatisfaction on the judgment, the complainant’s lawyers submitted that they were not satisfied with the investigation and prosecution of the case. They have also informed the court that two applications against the IO have already been moved with the inspector general (IG) Sindh but no action has been taken against him so far. They demanded that action be taken against prosecution and the IO for their role in weakening the case and said that the ATC’s decision will be challenged in the Sindh High Court. The complainant has also announced to file a plea to transfer the case to other ATC.

After receiving judgment on his favor, Rao Anwar has expressed his happiness and said that it has been proven that he was falsely implicated in the case, he added that in the past, he was also tried to implicate in Murtaza Bhutto murder case, but nothing was proved against him and he was declared as innocent. He said  that the conspiracies were hatched to implicate him in the false cases and he will unveil their names very soo.

In his concluded arguments, the defence counsel had submitted that his client, Rao Anwar, was not present at the spot where the encounter took place.