LAHORE: Bullet-riddled bodies of a woman and her two stepdaughters were found in a graveyard in the Shadbagh police precincts on Wednesday morning. Another stepdaughter was found injured with bullet wounds.
The woman, Naila, was said to be a wife of Malik Asghar alias Billu, a resident of Bombay Jhughian village who had allegedly been murdered by two of his wives in Sheikhupura two weeks ago. The girls were his daughters from his deceased wife, Saiqa alias Guriya. The three bodies were found near Asghar’s grave.
The two wives suspected of killing Asghar are in jail, while two others, including Saiqa, had previously been killed over a property dispute, initial police inquiries suggested.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Atif Meraj told Dawn that Asghar’s surviving daughter Rabia told police at the hospital that a relative named Sajawal, a resident of Muridke, and his unidentified accomplice had killed her sisters — Rubina, 15, and Sadia, 17 — and stepmother Naila, while she managed to survive.
Sajawal was said to be the son-in-law of Malik Asghar, the DSP quoted Rabia as saying, adding that the man asked Rabia, Rubina, Sadia and Naila to accompany him to the grave of Asghar to offer prayers. As soon as they reached the graveyard in the wee hours of Wednesday, Sajawal called over an unidentified armed man, who was wearing a blue uniform, and directed him to kill all of them.
Rabia further told police that she and her sisters tried to flee after their stepmother was shot dead, but Rubina and Sadia could not escape, while Rabia herself received bullets in her back. She told police that the attackers stayed there for some time to ensure the women had died.
“We received a call at around 4:15am by a man telling us that a girl was lying injured in the graveyard,” the DSP said.
A police team rushed to the site and shifted Rabia to a local hospital in an almost unconscious state, he said. The team could not notice the bodies in the dark, as they were lying at a distance.
“We received another call at around 6am wherein a man informed us about the bullet-riddled bodies,” the DSP said, adding that they shifted the bodies to the morgue and started investigation.
Malik Asghar, who was said to be a PPP leader, was a wealthy man and most of his properties were disputed, as his neighbours claimed that he had grabbed most of them illegally. Out of his six wives, the first two had been murdered over a property dispute, two from Sheikhupura were in jail, one had separated from him owing to the disputes he was embroiled in, and only Naila had been living with him, the police official said.
“Two weeks ago, he visited Sheikhupura to see his wives where they both allegedly poisoned him to death,” the DSP said, adding that the police arrested both women and sent them to jail.
DSP Meraj said that Asghar had transferred all his property in the name of his daughters that apparently prompted disputes.
Sajawal was a security guard of Asghar, who had later married one of Asghar’s daughters. It seemed that Sajawal had hatched a plan to kill Naila and the girls over the same property issues, he added. The officer said Rabia was unable to share more details due to her poor condition.