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SC orders arrest of jirga members: Handing over of minor girls to victim’s family

Published Aug 16, 2007 12:00am

ISLAMABAD, Aug 15: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of 11 members of a jirga, including PPP MNA Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, for handing over five minor girls to the family of a murdered man as compensation to settle the dispute in Jacobabad.

A five-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, Justice Javed Iqbal, Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan, Justice Faqir Mohammad Khokhar and Justice M. Javed Buttar took up a complaint of a freelance anthropologist Samar Minallah against the handing over of five girls — Aamna, 5, Bashiran, 2, (daughters of Rahmatullah), Shehzadi, 6, Meerzadi, 2, (daughters of Hafeezullah) and Noor Bano, 3, (daughter of Yar Ali) — to the family of the murdered man as compensation.

The Supreme Court had in June last year frozen the jirga decision to hand over the minors and ordered police to submit an inquiry report within two weeks. The District Police Officer (DPO) Kashmore was told to conduct an inquiry and arrest the jirga members.

When DPO Noor Mohammad informed the court on Wednesday that police had arrested three members of the 14-man jirga, namely Hafiz Qamaruddin, Yar Ali and Rehmat, the CJ asked why were influential people not arrested. “Are you afraid of them?”

The DPO explained that he had assumed his duties just one and half months ago. At this, the bench said that police always picked up poor people and were afraid of arresting influential people.

The rest of eleven members of the jirga nominated in the FIR are Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Peer Bharchoondi Mian Abdul Khalique, Thull Tehsil Nazim Syed Ali Akbar Banglani, Ghulam Rasool Banglani, Syed Jalal Shah, Raza Mohammad Banglani, Qamaruddin Banglani, Hafiz Banglani, Habib Banglani and two others.

The jirga presided over by Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani had ordered the handing over of five minors to the victim’s family and imposed a fine of Rs1 million on both the warring parties to settle a decade-old feud.

The feud began in 1997 when one Miandad Banglani was killed in a shootout between Hafiz Qamaruddin and Ali Yar Banglani groups over karo-kari (honour killing) charges in the Kamal Magsi village, Thull tehsil of Jacobabad district. Police registered the case after nine years that too after the media highlighted the injustice.

The event of the jirga was recorded by a regional television and was shown during the hearing. The video footage contained statements of Yar Ali and Rehmatullah, fathers of three of the girls, endorsing the allegations that the girls had been given in to the victim’s family as compensation and the decision of marriage had been taken up by the jirga. The case will be taken up again on September 3.