DADU: Hyderabad DIG Naeem Ahmed Shaikh on Tuesday said that an investigation into the alleged stoning to death of a 10-year-old girl [Gul Sama Rind] in the name of honour in the Wahi Pandhi area was under way and it was too early to say whether such an incident had actually taken place or not. The fact that could be known and confirmed so far was that the girl had died and was buried more than a week ago at the specified place, he said.
The DIG was speaking at a press conference along with Hyderabad Commissioner Abbas Baloch and some senior police officers at Dadu SSP’s office after visiting the Wahi Pandhi police station and ascertaining details about the girl’s death from under custody cleric Maulvi Mumtaz Leghari, who had performed her funeral prayers, notables of the area and the people who had some information about the matter.
While most of the people interviewed by the police officers expressed their unawareness about any jirga having been held to pass a death decree against the girl or even her stoning to death, some others appeared sure that no incident of stoning any girl to death in this area had occurred.
DIG Shaikh said that police had received information about the incident, having taken place in an area known as Shahi Makan, from the media. Such reports suggested that the girl was stoned to death under the decree of a jirga, he said.
The senior police officer recalled that police took swift action by arresting Maulvi Leghari, and taking parents of the girl into custody for interrogation.
While continuing an investigation into the alleged honour killing, police requested the district and sessions judge of Dadu to allow exhumation of the body to ascertain cause of her death, he said, adding that at the same time, efforts were being made to verify the claim that she was stoned to death.
In reply to a question, DIG Shaikh said fairness of the investigation was out of question as police could not let go the matter of stoning to death of any person if such an incident had actually taken place. He held out the assurance that the investigation would be absolutely transparent.
“At this stage, it is too early to say about what actually happened to the girl because a post-mortem of the body has not been performed,” he said. Stressing on exhumation of the body to reach a conclusion, the DIG said it was going to take place on Wednesday and in the light of the chemical examination of the body afterwards, an investigation could be held in the right direction, if needed.
Earlier, a team of Dadu police headed by DSP Pir Bakhsh Chandio visited the specified place in Karo Kot village near Shahi Makan where the incident was reported to have taken place. Some police personnel were deployed at the girl’s grave to ensure that no one tried to destroy evidence.
A special medical board has already been constituted by Hyderabad police surgeon Dr Bansidhar for the exhumation and post-mortem examination of the deceased girl.
The medical board is to exhume the body under the supervision of Johi’s judicial magistrate Agha Imran Pathan at 11am in Lali Lak graveyard.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2019