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Sindh raises its voice for murdered girls

Sindh raises its voice for murdered girls

KARACHI/HYDERABAD: In the past week at least two young girls have been killed in controversial circumstances. A teenage housemaid was allegedly killed by her employers in Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA), while a 19-year-old girl was killed in Jamshoro district for allegedly refusing a marriage proposal.

Protests continued for the arrest of the killers. In Karachi, the family continued their protest outside the Gizri police station for the second consecutive day. The police registered, on Sunday, a murder case against the girl’s employers.

Protests by civil society organisations and nationalist parties were held in Jamshoro, Hyderabad and some other districts, decrying connivance of the police and delay in arresting the culprits involved in the murder of Tania Khaskheli, whose family say an influential local landlord is behind the murder.

Rejected suitor

 The accused murderer of 10th grade student Tania, who was shot dead at her home in Jhangar Baajara, a rural town of Jamshoro district last week, remains at large amid protests by the family and civil society. The victim’s family has been accusing the police of connivance with the alleged killer and his accomplices.

They also appear unsatisfied by the assurances of Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, who visited them on Friday and vowed that the perpetrators will be brought to the book. “The police have still not arrested the main accused. We are also not hopeful of the CM’s assurances,” said Ghulam Qadir Khaskheli, Tania’s father, while talking to the local media in Jhangara Baajara on Sunday.

 The family has been claiming that the suspects, Khan Noohani, Mola Bux Noohani and an unknown person, who all are nominated in the FIR, belong to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and are among local influential supporters of the CM. According to them, Noohani with his armed men forced their way into his home and shot his daughter dead in front of the family after they refused a marriage proposal for 19-year-old Tania.

The local police even did not secure the crime scene. She was shot dead in the veranda of the house and a bullet which pierced through her head hit a wall in another room.

They even accused Khan of twice trying to kidnap their daughter when she was alive. Advocate Abdul Majeed Memon, a local criminal lawyer, pointed out that sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act and Section 107 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which pertains to abetting a crime, have not been inserted in the FIR, which was lodged on the father’s complaint.

“It seems that police are trying to weaken the case, as only Section 302 has been added to the FIR,” he said. Taking suo motu notice of the incident, the Sindh High Court put on Saturday the Hyderabad DIG, Jamshoro SSP and investigating officer on notice, ordering them to appear in the court along with the report on September 19.

Meanwhile, MNA Malik Asad Sikandar, who recently locked horns with the PPP leadership over a matter of land acquisition by a real estate developer in Jamshoro, visited the family and assured them of his support for punishing the perpetrators. “It’s a very saddening incident. The family will surely get justice,” he said while talking to the media.

 Karachi killing

The teenage housemaid, F*, was found dead on Saturday in mysterious circumstances at her employer’s house located on Khayaban-e-Badar, DHA within the limits of Gizri police station. Initially, her death was termed a suicide as the police claimed that the girl hung herself from a ceiling fan.

Officials said that the deceased had been working as a maid at the house for the last two years and committed suicide for unexplained reasons. Her body was later handed over to her family for burial. The officials reported that according to the initial post-mortem report, the girl had no torture marks on her body, adding that samples have been reserved for blood tests and chemical examination.

On the other hand, the family and relatives rejected the claims made by the police and employers and staged a protest outside the Gizri police station along with the girl’s body. The family claimed that F did not commit suicide and was actually murdered. However, the police stuck to their prior claim that she had committed suicide.

The family demanded the registration of a murder case over the girl’s death. “My daughter did not commit suicide. She was murdered,” maintained the victim’s father. “The police should investigate the matter. It seems like the police are trying to help the employer,” he accused.

 The family’s prolonged protest bored fruit and eventually the police registered FIR No 266/17 under sections 302 and 376/34 against the employers on behalf of the victim’s mother. However, no arrest was made till the filing of this news story.

The police have registered a murder case against the employers and are investigating the case from different angles, said a police officer, adding that data from the victim’s mobile phone is also being analysed. The police will issue a statement after the completion of preliminary investigations, he said.

The Express Tribune

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