HYDERABAD: The Sindh Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has found serious lacunas in the FIR on Ranipur house maid murder and called for incorporation in the case of sections of relevant laws about child protection and bonded labour etc in addition to 302, 34 PPC.

SHRC chairperson Iqbal Detho took suo motu notice of the widely reported incident about the girl’s death in mysterious circumstances. The FIR had been registered under sections 302 and 34 PPC and the commission noted that relevant sections like 370 and 374 PPC dealing with forced labour and torture have not been applied deliberately, he said.

These sections included 4 (1) (2) of the Sindh Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 2015, sections 3 and 14 of the Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2017; section 2 (a-i) and 17 of the Sindh Child Protection Authority Act, 2011, he said.

He directed SSP to take legal course regarding allegations of torture and conduct fair and transparent enquiry into the murder. If the case under above offences was made out during investigation then these sections should be incorporated in the FIR as per law without fear or favour in larger interest of human rights.

He fixed the matter for hearing on Aug 21 and said an officer now below the rank of deputy superintendent of police should appear before him along with report.

DG receives fact-finding report

Director General Health Services Dr Irshad Memon received a report from Khairpur District Health Officer Dr Baagh Ali Bozdar which said the girl’s father, Nadeem Ali, informed Bozdar that when his wife met their daughter at the Pir’s house around a month ago the Pir or his wife did not tell her about their girl’s illness.

The DHO said that Nadeem received news about her untimely death on Aug 14 and they performed her funeral on Aug 15 without post-mortem.

He quoted statement of Dr Abdul Fatah Memon, chest specialist at Kotdiji taluka hospital that he was present at his private clinic in Ranipur on Aug 13 when Qazi Aijaz, the Pir’s driver brought there the girl who was suffering from gastroenteritis for two days.

DHO said that Dr Fatah prescribed some medicines and advised laboratory tests and said if symptoms persisted the patient should be taken to a tertiary care hospital. Dr Fatah received call at 11pm about the patient’s condition on which he advised him to take her to Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, Khairpur.

Dr Fatah told the DHO that next day Aijaz Qazi came to him and sought referral letter for the patient. Dr Fatah said that at about 1pm the same attendant informed him that the girl had died. Dr Fatah reached the Pir’s residence and found the girl had died, he said.

The DHO concluded in his report that the body should be exhumed to ascertain cause of death.

GDA, JUI-F demand justice for heirs

Leaders of Grand Democratic Alliance and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl have demanded the government ensure fair investigation into mysterious death of 10-year-old house maid in Ranipur and serve justice to the bereaved family.

In a press statement issued here on Thursday, GDA general secretary Dr Safdar Abbasi and former GDA MPA Moazzim Abbasi said the culprits should not get away with the inhuman crime. “The brutal incident has shaken us and it demands the investigating agencies ensure transparent probe to reach the killers,” they said.

They said that stood by the aggrieved family and those involved in the brutality should be brought to justice no matter what social status they enjoyed.

They urged the judiciary and the administration to play their role in delivering justice to the traumatized family.

Moulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, general secretary of JUI-F Sindh, said the incident was highly condemnable. “We stand by the family and demand exemplary punishment to the culprits. JUI-F will not tolerate any leniency to the characters behind the murder,” he said.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2023

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