HYDERABAD: The local chapter of the Women’s Action Forum (WAF) launched its ‘Stop killing women’ campaign on Sunday by holding a rally from Shahbaz Building to the local press club.

The participants called for the establishment of separate courts to hear cases relating to women and impose a ban on holding jirgas.

The rally was attended by leaders of political parties and activists of various non-governmental organisations to raise voice against brutal killings of women under different pretexts in Sindh.

The rally also issued a report ‘WAF’s social FIR’ about crime against women. The WAF vowed to expose all those who patronise the accused in crimes against women instead of supporting the latter.

The participants dema­nded establishment of separate courts to hear cases of women and dispose them off in three months. They stated that membership of elected representatives should be cancelled if they attended jirgas and WAF would consider all tribal chiefs, waderas and sardars to be co-accused if they facilitated such meetings.

They said jirgas were a leading cause of increased number of cases of violence against women. They should be banned in Sindh and all those including civil servants, police officers, tribal chiefs and elected representatives who were part of it should be brought to justice. Policemen involved in such cases should be dismissed from service and departmental action should be taken against those who spoiled investigation, they added.

It claimed that last year 1,447 cases of violence against women were reported in Sindh — 117 women were kidnapped, 58 were subjected to gang rape, 155 committed suicide, 212 fell prey to ‘honour killing’ cases and 202 were subjected to domestic violence and sexual assault. A year before in 2014, 1,883 women were murdered i.e. five women a day.

In 2015, they said, there were 15 women’s murder cases in January, three cases of criminal assault, four of suicide; 15 karo-kari cases in February , six of criminal assault, 10 suicides; 13 karo-kari cases in March, 14 criminal assaults, three suicides; 15 karo-kari cases in April, three criminal assaults, four suicides; six karo-kari cases in May, three criminal assaults, eight suicides; 10 karo-kari cases in June, 10 criminal assaults, five suicides; 15 karo-kari cases in July, three criminal assaults, four suicides.

Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz senior vice-chairman Dr Niaz Kalani said G.M. Syed always stood for higher education of women and sent his daughter abroad for higher studies.

Others who spoke included Comrade Bukhshal Thallu, Ali Bukhshal Thallu, Dr Mushtaq Phul, Hakim Zadi, Umra Samoon, Prof Mushtaq Mirani, Amar Sindhu, Arfana Mallah, Haseen Musarat Shah and Punhal Sario.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2015

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