By: Syed Kosar Naqvi
ABBOTTABAD: The police on Thursday arrested 13 members of a Jirga for their alleged involvement in the murder of a 16-year-old old girl in the Makol village located in the jurisdiction of the Donga Gali Police Station.
The gruesome murder took place on April 28 when Amber, daughter of Riasat, was taken from her house to an abandoned house where she was drugged, hanged and placed on the backseat of a parked van. “The van was then doused with petrol and set on fire. The accused tried to eliminate all the proof of the murder,” District Police officer (DPO), Abbottabad, Khurram Rasheed, told reporters.
He said the Jirga of elders was convened in the Makol village by councillor Sardar Pervez.“He also executed the order of the Jirga by setting on fire the girl as punishment for helping her friend escape the village to marry according to her own free will on April 23,” the senior police official added. He said 13 members of the Jirga, along with the mother of the slain girl, have been arrested and would be produced before an anti-terrorism court.
The victim’s mother, Shamim Riasat, was arrested for failing to disclose the circumstances of Amber’s death to the police even though she knew everything. In her defence, Shamim Riasat said she was contacted by one Saeed and threatened of dire consequences if she disclosed anything about the incident.
DPO Khurram Rasheed said the case would be tried by an anti-terrorism court.The burnt body of the teenaged girl was found in a torched Suzuki van in Donga Gali in the Galiyat area on Friday. Police recovered the drugs used to make the girl unconscious in the abandoned house near the site of the crime. The can of petrol used to start the fire was also recovered. The body was tied to the seat of the vehicle, which was parked at a bus stop in the village. Another vehicle parked near the gutted van was also damaged. Police had moved the body to the Ayub Medical Complex, Abbottabad, for an autopsy.
The girl was later identified as Amber, daughter of Riasat, a labourer working in Balochistan’s Gadani area. She was stated to be a student of Grade-9.The issue has grabbed media headlines amid calls for giving an exemplary punishment to the Jirga members who ordered Amber’s killing. There was widespread concern about the gory incident in Abbottabad and the rest of Hazara.
The PML-N MPA from Abbottabad, Amna Sardar, pointed out that the area where the crime took place has a reasonable literacy rate and level of development and, therefore, it was surprising why such a brutal incident took place there.