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Police Official Suspended Over Extrajudicial Killing

by AFP

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Rao Anwar removed from Karachi post over killing of South Waziristan native

Authorities on Saturday suspended a senior police officer over the killing of a man in an alleged staged shootout that sparked anger and protests nationwide.

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

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

A government committee interrogated 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 seen by AFP.

The police chief of Sindh province, of which Karachi is the capital, has also requested a travel ban on Anwar and his team so they cannot leave the country.

Pakistan’s chief justice has ordered the provincial government to submit a report into the killing within a week.

Anwar, along with some other police officers, had been accused of serial fake “encounters,” mostly involving Taliban suspects.

Paramilitary forces began a sweeping crackdown on alleged militants in Karachi in 2013 that has led to substantial drop in overall levels of violence. But rights groups have accused police and paramilitary troops of carrying out extrajudicial killings in staged gunfights, or “encounter killings.”

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