In cold blood: St Michael’s Convent student found dead with family

Published: March 1, 2012

Zubair Arif, 35, was found dead, along with family members, inside his house on Wednesday. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: 

After cleaning the black Santro on Wednesday morning Zubair Arif’s driver did not know that instead of driving 13-year-old Rida to school, he would walk into the house to find the family dead.

“What should I do?” said Arif’s brother-in-law Arshad Raheel who found out about the murder after a friend told him to watch the news. “Is my sister dead? All of them have been killed? Someone must have survived!”

Shocked members of the Memon Bawani family started to pour into the house after hearing about the incident on the news. A family friend walked in and asked if the bodies were found in the house. She burst into tears when the authorities said they were.

The police claim that when no one answered the door, the driver went to Arif’s sister who also lived in Askari. Arif, his wife Aliya, daughter and parents were stabbed to death with a sharp object on Tuesday night. SSP South Naseem Sheikh said that they were interrogating the driver and a house worker who used to live in the quarters behind the house in Askari III near Cantt Station. He added that there were no marks on the body that would indicate that the family members were bound in any way before they were stabbed.

Out of the hundreds of houses and apartments in Askari, this house was one of the two semi-detached plots which faced the main road, with an empty house on the right and FG Public School on the left. The wall between Arif’s house and the school was razed and they used a green construction net to define the boundary. The wall between the house and school was so low that anyone over five feet could easily climb over and enter the house without being noticed. However, the police said that it was too early to say anything about the motive. They ruled out the possibility of the homicide being a robbery.

According to Raheel, Arif worked at a call centre but the police believe that he was unemployed. Aliya was a school teacher while Rida was a ninth grade student at St Michael’s Convent School, Arif’s father was identified as 68-year-old Arif Bawany, a businessman who had closed down his thread factory a couple of years ago. His mother was identified as a homemaker in her 60s.

According to the Edhi Centre volunteer Muhammad Shahid, the bodies of the adults were kept in a small room which had a bed and cupboard while the girl’s body was kept in a room on the first floor. He added that Bawany was wearing a shalwar and shirt while his son was wearing trousers, a dress shirt and boots.

DIG South Shaukat Ali Shah said that it looked like there might be more than one suspect. He added that a chemical examination would tell if the family was poisoned. No murder weapon was found at the scene of the crime.

The residents of Askari were traumatized and said that nothing like this had happened before. Some residents expressed anger at the police. Kamran who lives across the road in Askari II apartments, said that three to five police constables monitor the road every day to stop motorcycles and they were nowhere to be seen now.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2012.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Syed
    Mar 1, 2012 - 6:20AM

    what was the motive behind naming the school of the child in the headline???? GROW UP and stop acting like an evening newspaper!!

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  • Bunty
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:30AM

    When will this brutal killing stop? This is just ridiculous. I just want a peaceful world and it just seems to be getting worse. May Allah help us all and grant us a peaceful world where everyone lives in harmony. This is just depressing…

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  • Abdullah
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:47AM

    Seriously, why name the school? To sensationalize the news? Come one, grow up.

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  • vohra
    Mar 1, 2012 - 8:49AM

    i think motive could be property , if DHA and cantonment authority fail to provide security then they should allow high walls for security , considering law and order situation ,

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  • zehra
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:48AM

    yeah exaclty, however since i was from the same school i insticitively opened it up. is this the extension of the same news that five bodys found in gunny bags earlier reported?

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  • Ammar Hasan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:00AM

    @ Syed, so second you on that.

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  • MyHeartSpeaks
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:10AM

    @Syed True. I think if the deceased one was from some Madrissah, his affiliation has never been revealed. Someone has lost his/her life, what’s with his affiliation. Justice is same for everyone.

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  • Zed
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:12AM

    Pakistanis need to learn to live peacefully, as civilized human beings. Live and let live. Resolve disputes peacefully and legally. Control over population. If you do not speak up against evil, tomorrow someone will come to get you.

    “Whosoever kills another person, it is as if he killed the entire humanity.” Al-QuranRecommend

  • Truth Teller
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:43AM

    What’s wrong in writing the name of the school where one of the victim used to study? Grow up! ET one of the best newspaper unlike others.

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  • RizwanTKhan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 10:47AM

    Police is usually there but to rip off the traffic. When the real work comes, they go gaibRecommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:34AM

    So the stress was on “convent school” ..O yeah I see Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:40AM

    Inallillahe waina Illahe rajion…..Very depressing indeed….I wish the police and agencies could solve and bring the culprits behind bar…..

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  • MAD
    Mar 1, 2012 - 11:53AM

    @Abdullah:

    one reason could be that there was a time when St Michaels students were often involved in murders/ suicides etc.

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  • Jamil
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:33PM

    Let’s build the case along with the lines of report in this article. Robbery is ruled out. Family feud is ruled out. The girl was thirteen year old. The murder was not committed by firearms. The wall between FG School and the house is low. The corpse of the girl was on the first floor apart from the rest of the family. I deduce it was an amateur killer probably with something to do with the convent girl.Recommend

  • jahanzaib
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:48PM

    she was from our school very bad for her may her soul rest in peace

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  • Muhammed
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:55PM

    ET is mentioning the school .. so they can show the world that they were killed because the child studied in a christian school.. they want to show to their jewish masters that anyone remotely associated with anything christian/jewish is stabbed to death in pakistan.

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  • Adnan
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:57PM

    No mullah or Islam bashing yet despite of ET’s cheap attempt of mentioning school name?

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  • yawar
    Mar 1, 2012 - 12:58PM

    @Jamil: Pitty your thinking, do you have a thirteen year old daughter as well???

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  • Hussain
    Mar 1, 2012 - 3:11PM

    my condolences …… but ET what was the need of naming the school in the headline ….

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  • Ali S
    Mar 1, 2012 - 9:50PM

    Irresponsible of ET to name the school. A tragic loss for the family nonetheless, my condolences to them.

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  • Muhammad Rizwan Ali
    Mar 3, 2012 - 4:30PM

    thanks to Saad, to write that article,at least people knows, how our Police fail to protect people

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  • Jamil
    Mar 5, 2012 - 3:48PM

    @yawar: Pittttty your thinking. Do you always think dirty???? I have not written anything about the girl that warrants you to pity my thinking. What is you angle? If you have something to add just do it and if you have only dirty thoughts, keep them to yourself instead of criticizing other people.

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