Public humiliation: Please don’t maim the messenger

Woman’s head shaved for ‘helping’ friend communicate with paramour.

Shamsul Islam August 02, 2011


A young woman’s head was shaved and she was tortured for allegedly helping her friend communicate with her lover.

According to eyewitnesses, two men broke into the house of Chak 434 GB resident Sher Muhammad and dragged his daughter Razia Bibi outside where they shaved her head and beat her in public. “They kept kicking her in the stomach and swearing at her. They said she deserved to be punished for helping someone with their ‘immoral activities’,” neighbour Shabana said. A crowd of over 40 people silently witnessed Razia Bibi being publicly beaten and humiliated as her head was shaved. Locals told police that brothers Irfan and Ehsan attacked Razia Bibi as their accomplice held a gun to her. Ehsan accused Razia of helping his wife Farah cheat on him. “She was taking messages back and forth between Farah and the man she was seeing. She encouraged the affair,” Ehsan said, while beating Razia.

Both accused men fled the scene after leaving Razia injured.

“When they left we took her to the hospital. She had been severely beaten but we couldn’t do anything to stop it because the men were armed,” said Musa Kamran.

Razia and her father registered a complaint with the police. “Farah is Ehsan’s wife and some villagers spread gossip that she was having an affair and that my daughter was helping her conceal it,” said Razia Bibi’s father Sher Muhammad.

“These men need to pay for what they have done to my child. They publicly humiliated her even though she is not involved in the matter,” he said.  Bahlak Police have registered a case on the complaint of Sher Muhammad against the accused Ehsan and Irfan Sections 337/B/34 of the PPC. “We are conducting a through inquiry into the incident. Several people witnessed the event and said that the men were hurling abuses at her while they beat her. We have also requested a medical report for the girl,” Police inspector Muhammad Akbar said.

“It is shameful that so many people just stood by and watched the incident but the men will not go unpunished. We have already sent teams in search for both men and they will be brought to justice,” he said. Akbar said that Ehsan’s wife Farah had been taken into protective custody and her statement would also be recorded for the court.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 2nd, 2011.