SAHIWAL: A minor maid who was burnt allegedly by her employer for resisting sexual assault at Chak 189/9-L, Harappa, succumbed to her burns at the Nishtar Hospital, Multan.

On Wednesday, Sawera (14) was burnt by Dilbar Shah, the son of Pir Riaz Shah, who had sprinkled her with kerosene and gave it fire. The victim got severe burns to most of her body, especially face, chest, shoulder and legs.

She was admitted to the District Headquarters Teaching Hospital for treatment of burns where doctors referred her to the Nishtar Hospital, Multan, because of her critical condition.

Sawera died at the Multan hospital after struggling for life for 24 hours.

District Police Officer Sadiq Baloch, talking to Dawn, said although the girl’s parents did not mention in the first information report (FIR) that their daughter was sexually abused or assaulted by the suspect but police would investigate all aspects of the case to find the cause of the murder.

The sources at the DHQ Teaching Hospital told Dawn that the girl’s postmortem report had been completed and swabs had been collected for the DNA analysis and other tests.

The sources, privy to the situation, said, on condition of anonymity, the police suspected that the victim girl was tortured and murdered because she resisted the sexual assault.

The FIR identified Sawera, the daughter of farm worker Muhammad Jahangir, who has seven daughters and two sons. It said because of poverty, Jahangir handed over one of his daughters, Sawera, to Pir Riaz Shah in 2012 when she was just four years old. In the recent past, she had complained to her family many times that Pir’s son Dilbar Shah, a married man with kids, used to threaten her. She refused to work at the Pir’s house because of the suspect.

Two weeks back, Sawera came to her parent’s house to attend the marriage of her siblings and again complained to her mother, Khursheed Bibi, about Dilbar Shah’s behaviour. She said Dilber would ‘harass’ her whenever his wife and children were out of the house. However, her family again left her at the Pir’s House on March 12. On March 23, the family got the news from Pir Riaz’s employees that their daughter was burnt by Dilbar.

The family rushed to Pir’s house and found Sawera in a critical condition while Dilbar had escaped. She was shifted by Rescue 1122 to hospital.

The Harappa police claimed that Dilbar had been arrested and a murder case had been registered against him on complaint of Jahangir. After completing forensic analysis, the police sent the body for autopsy.

Punjab Inspector General of Police Rao Sardar Ali Khan took notice of the incident and directed DPO Baloch to investigate the matter. The IG ordered the Sahiwal police to provide security and justice to the family of the deceased.

DIES: A private college student was crushed under his college bus near Kot Khadim Ali Shah.

Saadullah, the first-year student of a private college, was boarding the bus to go back home.

The eyewitnesses said while going onto the bus rooftop, Saadullah’s foot slipped, he fell down and was crushed under the bus wheel.

Rescue 1122 said the student died on the spot.

Farid Town police arrested the bus driver and registered a case against the college owner.

College director Waheedul Haq said the student had slipped while taking a selfie on the running bus.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2022

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