Russian women inmates ‘confess’ to lady warden’s killing

Updated October 10, 2019

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Three Russian women inmates of the Central Jail Gadani have confessed to their involvement in Tuesday’s killing of a young lady warden, according to police investigators.  — AFP/File
Three Russian women inmates of the Central Jail Gadani have confessed to their involvement in Tuesday’s killing of a young lady warden, according to police investigators. — AFP/File

QUETTA: Three Russian women inmates of the Central Jail Gadani have confessed to their involvement in Tuesday’s killing of a young lady warden, according to police investigators.

However, they said, during the initial investigation the prisoners had not divulged the motive behind the killing.

Twenty-three-year-old Zoya Yahya was strangled to death in the women’s cell of Central Jail Gadani where she was posted on Tuesday night.

Motive behind murder still not clear

The role of the Russian trio in the shocking incident, the investigators say, was revealed by two other women prisoners.

About the conduct of the Russian inmates in the prison, Gadani Jail Superintendent Shakeel Baloch told Dawn that they had never demonstrated any violent behaviour before this incident. “Their attitude with other prisoners and jail staff was quite normal.”

“The reason which made them furious prompting them to kill our lady warden has not been ascertained yet,” he said. “Police have registered an FIR and are interrogating the three suspects.”

According to the hospital where Zoya Yahya’s body was examined, she was hit in the head and later strangled.

The superintendent said the suspects, alongwith other Russian female prisoners, were shifted from Quetta Dis­trict Jail to Gadani a few months ago.

Presently, he said, 13 Russian inmates — 11 women and two men — have been lodged in the Gadani prison. “They include four youngsters between the age of 10 and 16 and two children,” Mr Shakeel said.

According to him, the Russians had been arrested by the FIA from the Chagai area earlier this year under the Foreign Act. They have completed their jail term and are waiting for completion of formalities for their deportation.

“They have been granted consular access and Russian diplomats from the Karachi consulate have met them. Now they are waiting for completion of formalities by their consulate,” the superintendant said. “On our part, we [the local jail authorities] have already completed formalities for their deportation,” he added.

“However, now they can’t be deported as they are facing a murder trial,” the prison head said, adding that the Russian consulate in Karachi had been informed about the incident and involvement of the three suspects from their country in it.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2019