KARACHI: A teenage girl and her class fellow were found shot dead inside their classroom along with handwritten suicide notes shortly after gunshots were heard by the faculty and students gathering for the morning assembly session at a private school near Patel Para in the Soldier Bazaar area on Tuesday.
Police investigators believed that 16-year-old Nauroz Hamidi killed his classmate Saba Fatima Bashir, 15, before shooting himself dead with the licensed pistol of her father, as the two had decided to end their lives after finding that their families were unhappy about their friendship.
As the girl’s mother told Dawn she was unaware of her daughter’s friendship with the boy and the family of Nauroz left their home to some unknown place following the deaths, the incident remained shrouded in mystery.
“It was around 8am when the students were gathering for assembly in Gulshan-i-Fatima Primary and Secondary School near Patel Para,” said Jamshed Town SP Akhtar Farooq. “A few minutes before the assembly, the students and teachers heard two gunshots with hardly a three- to four-second gap. It triggered panic and they started running for safety, but someone finally found that the shooting was carried out inside the ground floor classroom.”
The teenagers were lying in a pool of blood with two handwritten notes placed on the nearby desks, said the SP Jamshed Town. The Urdu notes were transliterated into the Roman alphabet, he added.
The bodies were later moved to the Civil Hospital Karachi and then police moved in to collect evidence and gather details.
“It emerged during the investigation that the two liked each other but their parents opposed their involvement. It has not happened suddenly, as the two had been planning this for days.
“The girl brought her father’s licensed pistol which we have seized. We have also taken her father on board for further investigation. The boy shot the girl in the head before killing himself,” he said.
He said the police investigators were convinced that it was a “deliberate” step taken by both with “mutual understanding”, and nobody was forced to take the extreme move.
The girl’s body was handed over to her family after autopsy, he said. “The case has not yet been registered as the family is in a state of shock. We will move further once they are done with the burial and other formalities,” the officer said.
Girl’s mother shocked
“She had a headache this morning and I could see she was coming down with something. I told her not to go to school today but she said she had a test, so I let her go,” said Waheeda Bibi, Saba Fatima’s mother, as she sat amid her female relatives in their lounge while the male family members were at the graveyard for her daughter’s burial.
“Though the school is just a minute away, in the other lane, my husband didn’t allow Saba to walk up to the school with a heavy bag and we had arranged a school van for her. My son, who studies in Class II in the same school, also goes with her. He was in his class and she was in hers with another female student when the assembly bell rang. The other girl told us that they both had just got up to go to assembly, with Saba right behind her, when she heard a shot and turned around to find Saba fallen behind her desk. She couldn’t see Saba, just her trembling hand raised from behind the desk before she ran for help,” the mother told Dawn.
“That’s when my little seven-year-old also heard someone say something extremely alarming about her sister and her head. He started crying but a teacher told him that everything was fine and his elder sister had only hit her head on her desk,” said Waheeda Bibi.
“Of course, we didn’t know anything. I was busy in the kitchen and with my two-year-old son Ayyan and my husband was still asleep. He had not yet gotten up to get ready for office. The TV was on when I saw something on a news channel and woke him up. By the time we reached school, they had taken the two children to hospital. We found our second son who had also been there confused and crying. We picked him and first drove like crazy to Jinnah hospital where we were told that she had been taken to the Civil [Hospital] so we rushed there. That’s when I found my daughter dead, covered with a sheet.
“Look everyone has his or her lifespan written by destiny. Maybe my daughter was meant to live only this long but I’m her mother, I should have been there to at least hold her in my arms in her final moments. She died amid strangers because no one from the school had the presence of mind to call her parents,” the young mother cried.
“Instead the media was there. The girl who was with my daughter at the time of the shooting said the teachers pulled her up from behind the desk and sat her on a chair. She was alive, according to her friend, for some 20 minutes at least. And during that time the school forgot to call her parents though the electronic media was there!”
“Saba was my first born, my princess. I have three younger sons, too, but she was our favourite, the life of our home, my husband’s darling daughter,” the mother wept as she rocked back and forth taking her daughter’s name again and again mixed with a few words in Hindko.
She said her daughter was up till late Monday night preparing for her test while also playing with her little brother, Ayyan. “She is the one who named him Ayyan. She wanted him to call her baji but he insisted on calling her baby,” she said.
The girl’s aunts said many children in their family had attended or were attending the same co-education school. Saba had been admitted there at the kindergarten level and now she was a science student in Class X, they said.
Nauroz Hamidi’s home was also nearby in the same vicinity but dark with no one there except the Soldier Bazaar SHO, who happened to be there at that time.
Speaking to Dawn, he said the girl’s family hailed from Haripur Hazara. The boy came from an Ismaili family, he added. “They are quite a closed and private community. He has left a suicide note where he talks of marrying his class fellow whom he killed. First of all, they were children. What parents would have allowed this? And then they come from entirely different communities,” the police officer remarked.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2015