Digging deeper: Third woman’s body exhumed in Hazara

Husband said Mahnoor Bibi committed suicide, father said she was killed


Our Correspondent April 13, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

ABBOTABAD: The body of a woman was exhumed on Wednesday in Abbottabad after a court order. This was the third body exhumed in the last two days in Hazara to determine the cause of death, the police told The Express Tribune.

Havelian police quoted Fiaz, a resident of Khokhar Maira village, as saying his wife Mahnoor Bibi, 18, committed suicide by setting herself on fire and died on April 6.

However, the victim’s father Fateh Khan accused Fiaz and his brother Sheraz of allegedly murdering his daughter. Based on Fateh’s complaint, the court of Abbottabad district judge allowed the exhumation of the victim’s body.

The female doctors of Rural Health Centre Havelian exhumed the body on Wednesday in the presence of Havelian judicial magistrate Ishtiaq Ahmed and police and collected samples for forensic tests. According to the police, the post-mortem report would be submitted to the court within the next few days after laboratory results are received.Earlier, on Tuesday, the bodies of two sisters were exhumed. They were gunned down allegedly in the name of honour by their relative in Sherabad, Mansehra on March 11.

Suspicious deaths

Police told The Express Tribune Sherzada, with the help of his relatives Rasool Khan and Umat Khan, had gunned down his brother’s wife Khalida Bibi, 22, and her sister Ruqaya Bibi, 17, over unknown reasons. Sherzada, Rasool and Umat are natives of Pattan, Kohistan but were settled in Mansehra.

The accused buried both women secretly and told locals the girls died of some medical condition. However, when police arrested the accused and started questioning them, they changed their stance.

Police quoted Sherzada as saying that he was cleaning a pistol which went off accidentally, killing both the women on the spot and they (the accused) buried them in order to avoid police action.

But later, the SHO of Mansehra city police station became the complainant in the case as he suspected it was a matter of honour killing. He registered a case against the three accused – Sherzada, Rasool and Umat.

To determine the cause of death, the SHO sent an application on March 19 to Mansehra district and session court, asking for the exhumation of the bodies. However, mother of the two women sent an application, calling the autopsy of her allegedly slain daughters to be against tribal customs and requested the exhumation order not be issued.

But the bodies were removed from the ground amid tight security and post-mortems were carried out. Police said the case would be taken further after getting the autopsy report.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th,  2016.

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