Karachi: As authorities continue to turn a blind eye to what remains a matter of national shame, yet another gruesome incident of gender-based violence was reported in the city with a man brutally stabbing his wife to death and injuring his two teenage daughters in the PIB Colony police limits on Sunday.
Officials identified the victims as 40-year-old Shamim Akhtar and her two daughters, 15-year-old Sajida and 13-year-old Maryam, and the attacker as Rafiq. It was said that the couple had an argument at their Naseerabad residence which culminated with Rafiq taking up a kitchen knife and brutally stabbing Shamim.
The couple’s two daughters tried to save their mother but the callous killer turned on his children too, leaving all three women critically injured. Rafiq tried to flee the area but was caught by neighbours who had rushed outside upon hearing screams from the house.
All three victims were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre but, tragically, Shamim’s stab wounds proved too severe and she passed away en route.
Police said the murderer, Rafiq, had been taken into custody and the murder weapon had also been found.
Murders, rape and sexual assaults remain widespread in Pakistan, as apathetic or incompetent officials have made it a norm for investigations into incidents of gender-based violence to be mired in controversy and largely without result.
There have been multiple – over 25 at the very minimum – incidents of gender-based violence in Karachi this year, but there has not been a single conviction despite several attackers, apparently, having been apprehended.
On August1, skewed notions of honour had claimed yet another woman’s life in the city as an 18-year-old girl was murdered by her father in North Karachi.
As per the Sir Syed Town SHO Iftikhar Ahmed, the killer, Akhtar Hussain, who remains at large, is a drug addict who murdered his daughter, Bakhtawar, over “suspicions regarding her character”.
Investigators said the duo had a heated argument yesterday which culminated with Hussain attacking his daughter with a knife. The victim suffered multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.
This was on the same day that the body of a nine-year-old girl, who doctors confirmed was raped before being murdered, was found dumped in the Docks police limits at least 15 days after she was reported missing and police did nothing for her recovery.
The victim was identified as nine-year-old Roma, a resident of Machhar Colony. According to her family, who staged a protest on Mauripur Road yesterday, Roma had been abducted from near her house on July 15. With police displaying customary apathy, the girl was never recovered and her body was found dumped along the Lyari River.
Once it was moved to the Civil Hospital, a MLO who conducted the autopsy confirmed that the minor had been subjected to sexual assault before her throat was slit. As per the MLO’s report, Roma had been murdered around 15 days ago, a timeframe corresponding with her abduction.
This abhorrent rape and murder came just two weeks after the decomposing body of a young girl, who was said to be not more than 12 years old, was found packed in a bag dumped in Ghazi Goth, within the limits of Manghopir police station. The MLO who handled the case had confirmed that she had been raped then strangulated, and the body was at least a month old.
On June 7, a five-year-old girl was admitted to a hospital in critical condition after she was raped in Orangi Town’s Sector L. A case (34/376) was registered at the Iqbal Market police station by the girl’s father, Yousuf. Sexual offence was confirmed by a medico-legal officer at the CHK, Samia Saeed, in her medical examination of the young girl.
According to Iqbal Market SHO, Yousuf came to the police station and told the officials that his five-year-old daughter was found lying unconscious near his house in Orangi Town. He said the girl had been standing outside her house when a couple of unidentified men riding a motorcycle picked her up. The girl was found lying near her house after about six hours.
At a time when the country continues to see harrowing cases of violence against women but still remains embroiled in misguided debates over the need for protective legislation, five women were murdered in the city in a span of 10 days from the end of May till June this year.
The fifth murder was reported on June 2 when the body of a woman was found with her throat slit at an abandoned house in the Iqbal Market police limits.
Police had identified the victim as 40-year-old Nasreen, daughter of Muhammad Ali, and said her decomposing body had been recovered from a house in Tauheed Colony, Orangi Town after the neighbours reported a foul smell emanating from the premises.
It was shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where a medico-legal officer confirmed that the body was at least five days old and that she had been murdered by slitting her throat.
The victim, according to police, was a mother of five who had separated from her husband after a divorce two years ago. All the children, investigators said, were living with the former husband, adding that they would be looking into all possible aspects over the course of the inquiry.
On May 30, two females were brutally murdered by their husbands in the city. The first murder was reported in Korangi police limits where 28-year-old Raeesa was strangled to death by her husband, Imran, at their Sector 33/F residence.
The couple’s three children, police said, raised alarm which led to the on-spot arrest of the murderer, Imran. Officials maintained that the murder was driven by a domestic dispute but further details would emerge as the interrogation progresses.
The other murder was reported in the Surjani police’s limits where 20-year-old Rukhsana was killed by her heartless husband, Sagheer, at their Sector 51/G residence.
In this case, the perpetrator also managed to flee and police were yet to track him down. Investigators said the couple had recently married and that the murder was related to an argument that had drastically escalated. On May 27, an eighteen-year-old girl was shot dead in the SITE police limits after she allegedly refused a cousin’s marriage proposal.
Fareeda, daughter of Ali Akber, was reported to have been gunned down by two of her cousins, Ghafoor and his younger brother Ghaffar, inside her Ayub Goth residence.
She was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in a critical condition where she died during treatment, while both the men managed to flee.
According to police Ghafoor wanted to marry Fareeda and had come to the house with his brother to convince her to marry him; however, her refusal angered him to the point that he opened fire on her.
Three days before that, a man was reported to have strangled his wife to death, within the Quaidabad police limits.
Hameeda, 26, wife of Fazal-e-Wahid, was unable to survive when her husband in a deranged fit of anger assaulted her at their residence in Sherpao Colony, Swati Mohallah. After beating the woman, the killer strangled her to death and had fled.