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— File photo

MANSEHRA / TAXILA: Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the Jan 3 triple murder in Kohistan over last year’s dispute caused by a video showing five girls dancing with two boys in a wedding ceremony, according to police.

Those arrested include a man who had presided over a jirga that had allegedly ordered the killing of the girls and the boys because women’s mingling with men in such a way is against tribal norms.

Shah Faisal, Safiuddin and Sher Wali – brothers of Mohammad Afzal who had last year distributed the video and claimed that the girls had been killed – were shot dead by at least 12 attackers in Palas village.“We have arrested four main accused in a midnight raid on a rented house in Hassan Abdal area of Punjab,” Kohistan SSP Akbar Ali Khan told reporters on Monday.

He said that Maulvi Javed, Maulvi Noorul Haq, Mosam Khan and Baseer Khan had been nominated in the FIR lodged by relatives of the slain brothers.

In reply to a question, he said that Maulvi Javed had been accused of presiding over the jirga which had allegedly ordered the killing of the girls and the boys appearing in the video.

Sources said the suspects had escaped from Kohistan and taken shelter in a suburb of Hassan Abdal with the help of their relatives in the wake of the triple murder.

The SSP said that arrest of another main accused was expected soon. “The bereaved family will be provided justice as nobody is above the law.”

The relatives of the slain brothers have named six accused in the FIR and said they could not identify the six others.

Mohammad Afzal told Dawn by telephone that he was satisfied with the arrests.

He alleged that Maulvi Javed was the mastermind of the triple murder and his cousin and other relatives were involved in the crime.

He said that he had moved an application in the Supreme Court on Saturday, requesting it to reopen the case about the video scam which had been disposed of on June 20 last year.

The court had taken suo motu notice of the alleged killing of the girls appearing in the video and sent women’s rights activists, led by Farzana Bari, to Kohistan to verify if the girls were alive or dead.

The court withdrew the case after the activists confirmed that they had met the girls.

However, Afzal said that with the arrest, facts about the killing of the girls would be revealed.

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