By Israr Ahmed
RAWALPINDI:The Murree police have approached the Saddar Division Information Technology (IT) Laboratory to acquire cell phone data records of three men suspected of involvement in the immolation and murder of a female teacher.
The suspects have claimed that they were not present in the village when the incident took place. Teenage girl burned alive in Murree for refusing marriage proposal Schoolteacher Maria Sadaqat Abbasi, 19, who died at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences due to severe burnt wounds, was set on fire for by four or five men in Murree earlier this week for refusing a marriage proposal from another school staff member, who was more than twice her age.
Sources said that the Murree police have requested the Saddar Division IT lab to obtain call detail record (CDR) data for the devices of the detained men to determine whether or not they were present in the village or at the crime scene when the victim was set on fire and left to die. In the meanwhile, Shaukat, Mian Arshad and Riffat Mehmood, have been detained by the Murree police.
A senior police officer requesting anonymity said that the police have decided to verify the claims of the accused using cell phone data. “We must have strong and irrefutable evidence before [proceeding further],” he said. He said the case was being investigated from different angles.
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On the other hand, the police have not shown official arrests of two accused — Shaukat and Mian Arshad — in their records, or produced them before a court. The third accused, Riffat Mehmood, had been given into physical custody of the police by a local magistrate.
Meanwhile, more than 60 teachers staged a protest demonstration at GPO Chowk in Murree in favour of Shaukat. The protesting teachers were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans in his favour, and claimed that he was a retired teacher. The teachers condemned the registration of a case against Shaukat and asked the police to investigate the case purely on merit. Sources said that villagers are also pressuring the victim’s family to withdraw the case.