KARACHI: The government on Tuesday informed the Sindh Assembly that the body of a 10-year-old girl, who was reportedly stoned to death on the order of a jirga in Khirthar region, would be exhumed on Wednesday (today) to find out the exact cause of her death.
“The relevant authorities will exhume the body of the girl tomorrow to know about the exact cause of her death,” Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani told the house.
He was furnishing a policy statement during the Sindh Assembly’s session, which was chaired by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.
The minister was speaking about the girl’s [Gul Sama] death allegedly on the order of a chieftain of the Rind tribe, a charge the tribal chief had denied.
The girl was allegedly stoned to death on the order of a jirga in Shahi Makan in Khirthar region, Dadu district, about a fortnight ago, according to media reports.
However, Sardar Mir Bibrag Khan Rind, who is the younger son of tribal chief Sardar Yar Mohammad Khan, lately insisted that the girl had died in a landslide incident.
Minister Ghani said the Sindh government and the police in the region could only know about the alleged incident after activists on social media reported it.
Members from across the aisle join hands to pass a resolution on gender-based violence; Dua Mangi’s abduction echoes in house
He added that soon after the incident was reported, the area police swiftly took action and visited the rugged region.
“The police nabbed the person who led the funeral prayers of the girl and he is still in custody,” said Mr Ghani.
He added that police of the mountainous region of Dadu district, which borders Balochistan, also took the parents of the girl into custody and had investigated them. “The father and mother of the girl are still in the police’s custody.”
He said his personal inquiries had not brought any evidence so far that corroborated the incident.
The minister said the area police had got permission of the district judge for exhumation, which was extremely important to know about the real cause of her death. “We do not know about the exact cause of the death of the 10-year-old. Exhumation is vitally important to know about the cause of her death, which the police are going to do tomorrow [Wednesday].”
He said stoning to death of a minor girl was a seriously disturbing issue. However, the concrete evidence for or against it could only be known through a detailed autopsy.
Dua Mangi’s abduction termed extremely disturbing
The information minister also offered a policy statement vis-à-vis the recent kidnapping of a 20-year-old female student in a busy commercial area of Defence Housing Authority.
Some five armed men in a car had intercepted Dua Mangi, who along with her young friend was strolling along the road, fired multiple shots, left the friend wounded and took away the young woman early on Sunday morning.
Mr Ghani said he had contacted the families of the woman and her friend. The wounded man is a resident of Clifton and Ms Mangi’s family resides in Korangi Crossing.
He said he had visited the man [Haris Fatah] in hospital, inquired after the injured man’s health and spoke to his father. Similarly, he contacted the father of the abducted woman.
“We are fully aware about the gravity of the situation and police are taking all measures to recover the girl,” he assured the house.
He said the police had got some leads about the whereabouts of the abductors and would succeed in solving the issue.
The minister said the person whom the police suspected to be involved in the incident was abroad.
“The man against whom the police have their suspicion is at present out of the country. However, there are certain useful leads that are being used to solve the case,” he added.
He said the kidnapping incident was extremely disturbing and alarming as it was the second such case from the same vicinity in the past few months.
Resolution on gender-based violence
Speaker Durrani allowed Women Development Minister Shehla Raza to move a resolution vis-à-vis the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign that takes place each year from Nov 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to Dec 10, Human Rights Day.
She said the 16-day campaign was used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
“This resolution aims at fighting gender-based violence. We had recently lit the Sindh Assembly building orange for the same cause. This resolution should not be opposed by anyone,” said the minister.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Rabia Azfar and Pakistan Peoples Party’s Heer Soho also spoke and supported the resolution.
The chair put the resolution before the house and got it passed unanimously.
Mr Durrani expressed his disappointment over the lack of interest by the lawmakers in attending the session despite the fact that it was a private members’ day and adjourned the proceedings for the day.
Published in Dawn, December 4th, 2019