Justice delayed

Published December 19, 2021

THIS is with reference to the report “Protest over police failure to probe CMC student’s death” (Dec 16). The tragic death of Nosheen Shah, a fourth-year MBBS student at the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University (SMBBMU) in Larkana, has left everyone in shock. The family of the deceased has claimed that she was murdered and did not commit suicide.

However, the judicial inquiry, as demanded by the deceased’s father, is yet to begin its investigation into the causes of the young student’s untimely death. Mean-while, several protests have also been organised by activists and the family’s sympathisers to put pressure on the authorities to conduct an impartial enquiry into the case. It is hoped that the authorities will not disappoint the aggrieved family and those who are seeking justice for the deceased and her family. The investigation of the case should proceed in a timely manner in order to catch the culprits who are directly or indirectly responsible for Nosheen’s death.

However, it should be remembered that this is not the first incident of its kind at the SMBBMU hostel. In 2019, Nimrita Amarta Maher Chandani, who was a final-year Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) student at the Bibi Aseefa Dental College at the same university, was found dead in her room under mysterious circumstances. It was initially claimed by the police that she had committed suicide, but the post-mortem report later revealed that she had been raped and murdered.

Nearly two years have passed since Nimrita’s death, and the authorities have yet to catch and punish the culprits. This is a big question mark against the capability and sincerity of state institutions. The message inadvertently delivered to the public from such lethargy in meting out justice is that the people should not expect the government and its agencies to do their job by nabbing the culprits quickly, prosecute them effectively and deliver the justice timely. The district and university administrations, with the law-enforcement agencies, should employ the full force of the law to ensure adequate security of girl students, especially those residing in hostels.

They should do their utmost to catch and punish those behind the deaths of Nimrita and Nosheen, otherwise the sense of insecurity might prevent parents from allowing their daughters to attend universities. The people need to see justice being delivered in both these cases to have their confidence restored in government institutions and feel that higher educational institutions are safe for girl students.

Muhammad Shahjahan
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2021

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