Police killing of young man sparks outrage in Pakistan
Sunday 21/January/2018 - 12:32 PM
The killing of an aspiring male model by a police team led by a notorious officer in the port city of Karachi has sparked angry protests in several parts of the country and a huge social media outcry. Naqeebullah Mehsud، who hails from South Waziristan tribal region was killed last week for being an alleged member of the outlawed Pakistani Taliban. His family denies the police claim and instead accuses authorities of targeting the 27-year-old youth for being part of the Mehsud clan، which has faced the brunt of security operations in the country’s northwest. The slain victim used to run a Facebook page with nearly 26،000 followers where he used to post pictures of himself in various modelling poses. Mehsud’s pictures -- some with his minor children -- sporting a stylish beard stirred a social media debate after the killing، and prompted the country’s top court on Friday to take suo-moto action of the case. Rao Anwar، the controversial police officer involved in the killing، has been transferred from his post and is now facing an inquiry in the alleged extra-judicial killing case. The notorious officer is known for being an “encounter specialist” for killing dozens of suspects -- some local media reports put his list of kills as high as 200. Encounters refer to staged shootouts that involve security personnel shooting a suspect dead after alleging the victims were terrorists and had attacked law enforcers first. Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi، head of the three-member inquiry committee and chief of Sindh provincial police’s counter terrorism cell، said preliminary inquiry of the Mehsud incident had found the slain victim innocent after no links between him and the Taliban could be established، according to Geo News. The inquiry also found the Anwar claim about Mehsud’s death in a supposed shootout with police personnel “doubtful”، Geo News reported. “The committee is of unanimous opinion that in order to ensure fair and transparent enquiry of the incident and investigation into the case، Rao Anwar and Superintendent Investigation Altaf Sarwar Malik may be transferred and placed under suspension،" a statement from Sindh province police chief A.D Khowaja said on Saturday. Anwar، however، told local media on Friday that Mehsud was supposedly a hardened criminal who had allegedly served as a guard for Hakimullah Mehsud. Mehsud’s family reject this notion and maintains the victim was picked up by police from his shop earlier this month. People have also come out in the streets to slam the officer’s extrajudicial killing. Infuriated protesters on Friday blocked a main highway in Karachi to protest the killing. Demonstrations were also held in other cities including Peshawar، capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.