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Woman’s ‘stoning to death’: Shahbaz assures victim’s family of justice

MULTAN: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday said those involved in alleged stoning of a woman to death at Khanewal will not be spared and the justice will be ensured in the case.

After meeting with the heirs of the victim, Mariam Bibi, who was allegedly killed for cutting grass from the field of a local landlord of Chak15/8R, Katcha Khoh, Khanewal district, the chief minister directed additional inspector general (investigation) to stay in the area till the arrest of all accused in the case.

The family of Mariam told the chief minister that Mariam’s actual ‘sin’ was cutting grass from the field of a local landlord Raja Memboob and she was subjected to a rape attempt a few days before her killing.

They said a Punchayat of Raja clan was held that ordered the woman be stoned to death for disgracing a ‘noble person’ of their family. The woman was found dead near her house in the wee hours of July 18 while her husband was also allegedly kidnapped by the accused.

An FIR (No 170) under sections 302, 364, 148 and 149 of the PPC was lodged with Katcha Khoh police by Muhammad Saddique, the victim’s father-in-law, against Raja Mehboob Pervez, Raja Arslan, Nanhay Khan, Raja Shakeel, Raja Habib, Raja Abdul Ghaffar and three unidentified men.

The police have arrested Raja Mehboob Pervez, Nanhay Khan and Raja Arslan while according to investigating officer, Muhammad Ashraf, the other nominated accused were on an interim bail.

On the occasion, the chief minister handed over a Rs500,000 cheque to Zahidan Bibi, the mother of the deceased woman, besides constituting an investigation committee consisting of Additional Inspector General Investigation Naseemuz Zaman and Gujaranwala City Police Officer Abdul Razzaq Cheema to probe into the matter.

He directed the committee to submit the report to him within three days and stay in the village till its completion. He also directed Forensic Lab director general to visit the crime scene. Khanewal police presented the victim’s missing husband, Sarfaraz, before the local court on Friday for recording his statement.

He would be produced in the Supreme Court on Monday as the chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has taken a suo motu notice of the incident and admonished the Punjab government and police for not making headway in the case.