HYDERABAD: In a petition filed by some civil society activists, the Sindh High Court has made the family of the deceased Sindh University (SU) student N*, who was found dead in her hostel room, a party in the case.
The Hyderabad circuit bench, which heard the case on Monday in the chamber on the request of Jamshoro SSP Captain (retd) Tariq Wilayat, directed the family to submit a reply on the next date of the hearing on March 8.
SU student dies after falling off bus
During the hearing, the SSP reportedly showed the judge mobile phone recordings and some photographs to establish that N was in a relationship with arrested suspect Anis Khaskheli. The police claim that Khaskheli's exploitation and blackmail compelled N to take her life, as her body was found hanging from the ceiling fan in the SU's undergraduate hostel on January 1.
Wilayat apprised the court about the fact that Khaskheli declined a marriage proposal by N, telling her that he was engaged to her cousin.
The SSP argued that the death became a big controversy due to infighting between two groups of SU teachers, one of which is led by Prof Dr Azhar Ali Shah and other by Prof Dr Arfana Mallah.
The petitioners' counsel, advocate Ali Palh, told The Express Tribune that the SSP did not provide any tangible evidence which can establish that N warned Khaskheli that she would take her life. He added that Khaskheli was not even heard in any recording threatening the girl in regard to her photographs. However, Khaskheli allegedly was heard blackmailing some of his other victims, Palh said.
Khaskheli, a lecturer at a private college, was arrested from his residence in Jamshoro on January 4. The police lodged an FIR on the complaint of N's brother on January 6.
Although Khaskheli was not nominated, his mobile number was mentioned in the FIR which contained sections 315, 316 and 509 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 6/7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act and 9 and 13 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Ordinance.
SU student death: SSP to present evidence during hearing inside chamber
The ordinance was later replaced with sections 15, 20, 21 and 24 the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, 2016.
The petition was filed on January 11 by an SU student, Qirat Fatima, four lawyers, two civil society activists and a journalist. They filed a petition in the SHC, requesting the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the death and recommend future measures for safety at hostels.
*Name withheld to protect privacy
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2017.