Two teenage girls in Waziristan village killed for 'honour' over leaked mobile video

Published May 17, 2020
The area where the incident took place is far-flung and considered risky in terms of security, police say. — Reuters/File
The area where the incident took place is far-flung and considered risky in terms of security, police say. — Reuters/File

Two teenage girls were killed in the name of 'honour' allegedly by a family member earlier this week in a village located on the border of the North and South Waziristan tribal districts after a short mobile video of them with a young man surfaced on social media, police said on Saturday.

The Razmak police station in North Waziristan, in whose jurisdiction the murders were reported, on Friday registered a First Information Report (FIR) of the incident with the state as the complainant and started an investigation.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the incident took place on May 14 around 2pm at Shaam Plain Garyom, a border village of North and South Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

"A confirmed report was received that two girls aged 16 and 18 were killed in the name of honour by their paternal cousin, whose name and address is not known, in Shaam Plain Garyom," read the FIR registered on behalf of a station house officer.

Also read: The crime of ‘shame-washing’

It said the reason behind the killings was believed to be a video, provided to Dawn.com, which shows a young man recording himself with three young girls in a secluded area outdoors.

A senior police officer in Waziristan confirmed the incident and told Dawn.com that two of the three girls seen in the 52-second mobile clip have been killed. He said police were collecting information about the third girl and the man seen in the video.

According to the police official, it appeared that the video in question was shot nearly a year ago and most probably went viral on social media a few weeks ago.

“As per the information received by police so far, the third girl and the boy are alive,” the officer said while quoting a report by the area tehsildar. He revealed that the families of the two victims reportedly moved to their native village Shakotai in South Waziristan after the incident for the burial of the bodies.

The area where the incident took place is far-flung and considered risky in terms of security, the police official said, adding that a police party has been dispatched to the area to further investigate the case.

“The names of the females are still not known as their families shifted the bodies to South Waziristan. A police party along with the area tehsildar has already been directed to visit the area and submit a final report,” he said.

“At the moment, our topmost priority is to secure the life of the third girl and the man before taking any action.”

"There is no mobile coverage in both Shakotai and Bargram area of South and North Waziristan," a police official supervising the investigation said.

"In tribal tradition, there is no place for girls and men who defame their tribe in the society," the official said, adding that the investigation of the case would be a big challenge for the newly introduced police as the acts in the video are "completely against the norms of the tribal society".

The incident comes nearly eight years after the 2012 Kohistan video scandal, in which three women were killed for honour after a grainy video showing them singing and clapping while two boys danced had gone viral in the ultra-conservative and remote district of Kohistan.

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