HYDERABAD: A local magistrate in Ranipur on Monday remanded Pir Asad Shah in police custody for five more days in nine-year-old housemaid Fatima Furro’s murder case in Khairpur.

Ranipur SHO Bachal Qazi confirmed while talking to Dawn that Asad Shah’s remand in police custody had been extended after expiry of his earlier four-day remand. Pir Asad is prime accused in the murder case of Fatima, who worked as maid at his haveli (mansion).

Shah’s wife, Hina Shah, is also nominated as co-accused in the FIR lodged by Fatima’s mother but she escaped arrest as she had obtained interim pre-arrest bail from Sindh High Court’s Sukkur bench.

Police produced in the court three other housemaids working at the haveli identified as Ms Khalida, Ms Bublee and Ms Kora along with four children Rafia, Afia, Aleeza who were recovered during a raid the other day.

Samples of Asad Shah, father and brothers sent to LUMHS for DNA test

The SHO said that the women, as well as the children aged between five and eight years, were being handed over to their families. They were all residents of Khairpur district.

Police, however, did not produce Dr Ali Hassan Wassan, Imtiaz Mirasi, a peon at local government health facility working under the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, and a police head muharrir for obtaining their remand. They were still being interrogated, said the SHO.

Late Fatima’s father Nadeem Ali and mother Shabnam Khatoon told journalists outside Ranipur court that they felt encouraged after local lawyers assured them that they would contest their case free of charge. The only they wanted was justice, they said.

Samples of Asad Shah, his father, Khair Shah and brothers Masood Shah and Abdul Sattar Shah, suspects in the Fatima murder case, and the victim had been sent to the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, for DNA testing and matching.

More sections added to FIR

Khairpur SSP Mir Rohail Khan has informed the Sindh Human Rights Commission chairperson in a detailed report that Sections 328-A, 374 PPC and Sections 3 and 14 of the Sindh Prohibition of Employment of Children Act, 2017, have been added to the FIR of Fatima’s murder.

He said that a special medical board conducted exhumation of the body on Aug 19 and issued its provisional report while final report was being awaited.

He said that police team had examined complainant’s witnesses including Rasool Bux Furro, Sagheer Ali Furro, Mohammad Hassan Furro, Imran Shaikh, Dr Abdul Fatah Memon, Imtiaz Ali Mirasi, SHO Ameer Ali Chang and police constable Mohammad Khan, the then head muharrir of police station Ranipur.

He said that footage of close circuit television cameras installed in Pir Asad’s haveli had been obtained.

Meanwhile, the SSP was informed by SHRC’s superintendent (complaints, inquiries and suo motu) that under the chairperson’s instruction, the SHRC Member Judicial-II Mohammad Aslam Shaikh would meet him regarding Fatima’s murder to review progress and record statements of investigating officer, complainant and witnesses on Aug 24 in Khairpur. The SSP was directed to ask the persons concerned to appear before the SHRC Member.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2023

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