ISLAMABAD: Taking suo motu notice of media reports of a Kohistan Jirga that ‘condemned’ to death four girls for defying strict tribal customs, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Monday summoned Chief Secretary Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, District Police Officer Kohistan and Deputy Inspector General Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on June 6. However, Express News reported late on Monday that an initial inquiry report submitted to the K-P government had found the girls to be alive.
Media reports of the alleged killing of four girls and a fifth for being ‘an accomplice’ were presented before the chief justice today by the registrar of the Supreme Court.
According to an exclusive report by The Express Tribune, the jirga had declared four women and two men ‘Ghul’ (fornicators) after they were allegedly caught on videotape singing and dancing together at a wedding party in Bando Baidar village of Peech Bela union council.
The video caused a furore in the community, which felt the video had stained the honour of the tribeswomen. According to sources, elders of the Azad Khel tribe had summoned a jirga at the Seertaiy village, which sentenced the four women and the two men to death.
The chief justice ordered Attorney General Irfan Qadir to find out if the news reports about the incident were factual or not.
He further said that if the reports were bogus and such an incident never occurred, then the girls be presented before the court the same day.
The chief justice said, “This incident is a gross violation of fundamental human rights.” He added that the Supreme Court has already given directions against the jirga system.
The police had registered an FIR against two brothers, Bin Yasir and Gul Nazar, for allegedly making the film and uploading it on a video sharing site.
Earlier on Sunday, Yasir and Nazar’s elder brother, Muhammad Afzal said the women were called back from their in-laws and locked in a room.
He added that their family members subjected the women to severe torture – threw hot water on them, beat them, and kept them in isolation for two months.
Afzal also said that the jirga sent over 30 men to kill one of his brothers.
Girls are alive?
An initial inquiry report, investigating into the controversy, has been presented to the K-P government. According to the report, the five women are alive and were currently living at their respective residences, Express News reported.
Commissioner Hazara Division Khalid Khan Umarzai and area Deputy Inspector General (DIG) visited the village of Sardia in Tehsil Palas, where they met the parents and families of the allegedly killed women. They also recorded the statements of the five women, while they were veiled behind a curtain.
The report added that the video was doctored, via a conspiracy due to personal enmity, to make it appear as if the men and women were in the same room when they were actually in separate rooms.
According to the investigative team, two brothers of the alleged perpetrator [who made the video] have been arrested, while efforts are underway to arrest the the latter, who is still at large.
Earlier, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also said that the reports were “wrong and baseless”.