Her brothers killed her

Shanu's brothers are free and she is dead. They shot nine bullets into her. Was she wrong in her desire to remarry?

Versha Qazi August 11, 2011
I was on the phone with my mother who had left for Hyderabad a few days back, but ended up in our village in district Badin. Her voice shook as she spoke when I asked her if everything was fine. She replied:
'Did nobody inform you? Shanu was killed by her brothers.'

I felt numb. Shanu, my mother's second cousin had been shot dead. The thought of her lifeless face gave me goosebumps.

Shanu was a middle-aged divorced woman and mother of three, whose two brothers shot nine bullets into her. She wanted to remarry but her family managed to persuade her against it. The only other thing that she asked for was to settle with her three sons in a house of her own.

On the last night of her life, she was woken up by two of her three brothers and shot dead. Nine shots were heard but only one of my uncles dared to go over to see what had happened. When he got to their house he was told by one of the brothers to stay out or face dire consequences. Faced with this threat, my uncle called the police and both brothers were arrested.

I wish the story ended here with both culprits behind bars but her brother was released the next day and slept peacefully under the very roof of his parent's home where he killed his sister the previous night. As for the second brother, his mother testified that her daughter committed suicide and her son was innocent.

I had already realized how unjust our society is to women but to see someone I personally know fall victim was a blow.

Shanu was a woman of high spirit. I was not close to her, but the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear her name is her lively, welcoming face. She was not a suppressed, domestic woman from a village. She was a social activist and member of several NGOs. She was one of those who individuals who was at least trying to make a difference in her own small way. The murder was given media coverage in its  initial days, but still the story is unheard and unknown to most people.

I often wonder where she was at fault. Was she wrong in her desire to remarry?

Islam allows it and so does our law. Or was it wrong for her to want to live happily with her kids?

There maybe something more to the story; some other issues that were known only within the boundaries of that home, but nothing justifies the killing of a person. Killing a sleeping person who was no threat to anyone is brutal, inhumane and unjustified.

I have no words when I think of how their parents played as partners in crime. Why? Just because that son is their sole bread earner? Who is at fault? Just the brothers or the parents too who already knew this was going to happen?

All this brings me back to the bitter realization that this case might not be the only one of it's kind. Worst things happen in interior areas and go unnoticed. At times nobody seems to care too.

As I write this, I am pretty sure that at Shanu's house everyone will have had a nice sehri and gone back to sleep. They do not care or to be more specific they are glad about what happened.

I cannot stop myself from thinking about Shanu who deserved to live, or at least did not deserve to die.
Versha Qazi A BBA student from IBA in Karachi
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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