PESHAWAR, Aug 18 2005: A woman, who shot dead a prayer leader, has pleaded that she killed the man to defend her honour. Ms Siraja, a resident of Tawoda Khazana village along the Charsadda road, has shifted to her maternal village Isakhel, after she was released on bail.
Talking to a fact-finding team of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday, Ms Siraja said that she had no regrets because she killed the man to save her honour.
“I belong to a poor family and my husband is a rickshaw driver. I have nothing but my honour,” she told the HRCP team and journalists.
Ms Siraja said that she and her five children were at home when an armed man with his face covered entered her house on Saturday August 13 night.
She claimed that he ordered her to obey his ill will and removed his hand from her mouth. “I started shouting and he ran away,” she said.
“I had told my husband about the incident and he told me to keep a gun. She shot the man dead who again entered her house on Sunday night. He was later identified as the local prayer leader.
Ms Siraja said that she tried to call her neighbours but they were too old and scared, they did not turn up.
“I approached the Daudzai police station and told the police about the incident,” she said.
On the other hand, the people of the locality said that the prayer leader, Ihsanullah, was living in the Tawoda Khazana for almost nine years. He also worked at a petrol pump as night watchman.
Taj Mohammad, an ex-councillor in the neighbourhood, said that the prayer leader was a pious man and said that Ms Siraja, though he had never seen her, was not a woman of good character.
However, the 70 year old landlord of Siraja, living next to her one-room mud house, said that he had never heard anything bad about her. His aged wife and sister also said that she was of good character. She had been living in the house for almost three months, the landlord said.
“We have neither seen her outside nor with someone in her house,” the landlord’s sister said.
However, a local resident, on condition of anonymity, said told the fact finding team that NWP Minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai, hailing from the same area, had called the police station concerned and directed the officials to listen to the story of the other side (Ihsanullah’s side) also.
The prayer leader who was murdered used to recite verses of the Holy Quran in the public meeting of the local leaders hailing from religio-political party.
Ms Siraja moved to her brother’s house in Isakhel as police had asked her not to return to her home for the sake of her safety.