DADU: A fact-finding mission of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has declared after visiting Shahi Makan area and collecting information from locals that claim about death of nine-year-old Gul Sama Rind after stoning over a karo-kari allegation is part of a drama, which is an outcome of simmering inter-tribal and political disputes among bigwigs of the area.
The mission led by Dr Abdul Majeed Chandio who was aided by Imdad Chandio, Alia Buxal Thallho, Hussain Musarrat, journalists Farooq Soomro and Mahesh Kumar visited Shahi Makan, Wahi Pandhi, Johi and Dadu towns and collected evidence on Sunday to unearth reasons behind the much-hyped death of the girl.
The HRCP team said that disputes among tribal chiefs and political bigwigs over royalty of minerals abundant in Khirthar range of mountains, especially at Karo Koat, and other incentives from oil and gas companies were found to be at play behind attempt to get the accidental death of Gul Sama portrayed as a case of honour killing by stoning.
Media reports termed political bigwigs’ game
Sources said the team had rejected the girl’s death after stoning and reported that neither was Gul Sama declared kari nor any jirga was held for the purpose. In fact, a Wahi Pandhi journalist working for a Karachi-based private TV channel had misreported the girl’s death. The journalist had claimed that Gul Sama was stoned to death over allegation of kari under a jirga verdict, said the sources.
The HRCP team learnt that Wahi Pandhi police had come under pressure after the journalist aired the fake new and lodged an FIR about the girl’s having been stoned to death.
The team met Lilan Khatoon Rind, mother of Gul Sama, and residents of the area in Shai Makan and mother rejected claims that her daughter was stoned to death or a jirga was held for the purpose, said the sources.
The team went to Wahi Pandhi police station and met Ali Bux Rind, Gula Sama’s father, and Maulvi Mumtaz Leghari who had led the funeral prayers of the girl and recorded their statements.
Then, it visited the Wahi Pandhi, Johi and Dadu towns, collected information from people of different walks of life about the incident and informed that residents of Shahi Makan had told them that Gul Sama was playing with other children at the foot of Karo Koat mountain at a little distance from her home when some rocks fell down on her and she died.
The team said that the chemical examination of Gula Sama’s body parts would determine final cause of the death but evidence and statements of people had established to a large extent that the girl had died after some heavy objects hit her head and not after stoning.
It argued that the facts that the girl’s last rites were held, her funeral prayer was offered, the bereaved family members received condolences for three days and distributed food on the third day of her death among a number of people of the area; proved that if she had been declared a kari or killed after stoning, her last rites would not have been performed.
There was all likelihood that hidden hands of tribal chiefs and political bigwigs were involved in circulating the fake story of stoning to death to achieve their political and financial ends like royalty for minerals and other incentives, said the sources.
The HRCP team visited Wahi Pandhi police station where it met the SHO, went to offices of DSP of Johi and SSP of Dadu who admitted that the case of stoning to death was lodged under growing pressure from social media.
ASI Ghulam Qadir Gopang, who had lodged the case on behalf of state, was reportedly on leave hence his statement could not be recorded while the journalist based at Karachi who aired this news refused to meet with the HRCP team.
The head of HRCP team and members declined to share more details with journalists and said the team had submitted its report to HRCP’s Lahore office and it would be made public soon.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019