A first-information report (FIR) was registered by police against the allegedly jirga-ordered murder of a couple in Karachi who contracted a free-will marriage earlier this year.
The couple were strangled to death and secretly buried in an Ittehad Town graveyard allegedly on the orders of a tribal jirga in the name of so-called honour as they had married of their own free will, according to police.
The FIR registered by the Police in Karachi's West Zone names 15 suspects out of which nine are currently in police custody.
The arrested men include Abdullah, the father of male victim, Noor Mohammed, Mohammed Umer, Abdul Sattar, Mohammed Ameen, Ziaul Haq, Ghulam Rasool, Abdul Rasheed and Eidan.
Police said that 22-year-old Haseena and Abdul Hadi were killed "in the name of honour" on Nov 22 in Karachi's Mominabad area and they were secretly buried in a local graveyard.
Five days later, acting on a tip-off police found their graves, exhumed the bodies and sent them to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital for a post-mortem examination.
Police said that the couple — originally hailing from Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — were not properly buried as their bodies were stuffed in gunny bags.
A post-mortem examination of the bodies of the young couple confirmed that they were strangled to death and secretly buried. The examination further confirmed that Abul Hadi's body bore torture marks.
The incident sparked widespread anger in the city, forcing Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to order the police to take stern action against those involved.
SSP West Mohammed Younis Chandio said that the couple — both residents of Nawab Colony in Baldia Town — had rented a house within the remit of the Mominabad police station on Nov 19.
On Nov 24, the owner of the said house came to the police station and reported that the couple went missing and he saw blood in the house.
During an initial investigation, the police came to know that the couple had “married without the consent of their elders” around one-and-a-half month ago.
They picked up about a dozen suspects and, acting on leads provided by them, police traced their graves and exhumed the bodies.
Orangi SP Abid Ali Baloch told Dawn that the police were probing whether the killing was carried out on the order of a jirga ─ as confessed by the first arrested suspect ─ as initial investigations suggested that members of the woman’s family were involved in the two murders.
He said the father of the deceased man was also among those held for questioning. He said the woman’s family approached him after the couple went missing and he told them that he was not aware of their whereabouts.
The SP said the father told the police that he gave “permission” to his relatives to kill his son if they found the couple anywhere.
He claimed that all possible suspects had been identified and raids were being conducted to arrest the remaining suspects.
However, the SSP West said that the girl’s father, Miskeen, and his four sons — Ayub, Azam, Tanveer and Habib — were still at large.
They allegedly killed the couple while the arrested suspects were involved in the disposal of the bodies.
CM Shah, taking notice of the murder, said: "This is a metropolitan city not a tribal area where jirgas are held. I would not allow such kind of barbarianism here," he said, directing the police chief to launch a crackdown against such criminals and bring them to book.