LAHORE: An elderly woman left with broken bones in a brutal beating and robbery two weeks ago has alleged that Ghalib Market police are refusing to register a case against the perpetrator, another woman, because she is backed by local clerics.
Shehnaz Khan, 65, told The Express Tribune that her former neighbour, Samina, had visited her on April 27 to borrow some money. She said that after her daughter had left the house at around 5pm, Samina attacked her and beat her till she lost consciousness. She said that Samina had stolen Rs150,000 in cash and nine tolas of gold from her. She said that she had suffered two broken ribs, a broken nose and other injuries.
Khan said that she had tried to get a robbery case registered against Samina, but Ghalib Market police were not entertaining her application. She said that Allama Fasihuddin, the prayer leader of a mosque next to the Model Town superintendent of police’s (SP) office, had asked the Ghalib Market police not to register the case.
“Whenever I am called to the police station, some 20 clerics also turn up and tell the police officials that they are prepared to swear oaths that Samina is innocent,” she said.
Khan said that she had also approached Model Town SP Maroof Wahla, but no case had been registered. She said that while she was still unconscious in hospital after the beating, her brother Idrees Khan had submitted an application at the police station for the registration of an FIR against unidentified armed men, but she had later withdrawn it and submitted a new one identifying Samina.
Allama Fasihuddin told The Express Tribune that he did not doubt that Shehnaz Khan had been attacked in her home. “That is obvious from her face,” he said.
But he added that Samina could not be the attacker, as she belonged to a “virtuous religious family”. He said that he had conducted a “spiritual and physical investigation” and found Samina innocent, and he had tried to show this to the police. He said that her family had been visiting his mosque for 50 years and they were not criminals.
Fasihuddin said that Khan’s story was implausible. “She has accused Samina of covering her face with a pillow and then jumping on her for 15 minutes … this is a complete lie as Samina is so big that Shehnaz could not survive a single jump. It seems to me that Shehnaz has concocted a story to implicate Samina,” he said.
He said that he had only pointed out the facts of the case to the SP and not pressured him to favour anybody.
Ghalib Market SHO Amir Saleem said that Samina was from a respectable family and one did not expect them to be involved in such a crime. He said that there had been a delay in the registration of a case because the Citizen-Police Liaison Committee was involved and would decide the matter on Thursday. He said the initial medical report showing Shehnaz Khan’s injuries had been received but the final report was a couple of days away, after which they would register an FIR.