Following the Supreme Appellate Court (SAC)’s orders, authorities in Gilgit have sought experts’ help from Islamabad in conducting a fresh autopsy on the body of a nurse who was murdered a few months back in Gilgit, an official said on Thursday.
“We have sent a letter along with a copy of the court’s ruling to the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan to nominate an independent panel of doctors to re-examine Shabana’s body,” said a Gilgit administration official, asking not to be named because he was not allowed to talk to the media. He said the nurse’s body will be exhumed.
Shabana Akhtar, a nurse hailing from Astore Valley, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her room at Nursing Hostel in Gilgit a few months back.
The police initially believed that the nurse had committed suicide. However, during investigations they found out that she had been murdered, upon which the police arrested Jamila, the warden of the hostel, and her accomplice, Nadeem Abbas, on murder charges.
According to the police, Shabana possessed a compromising video clip of Jamila, and had refused to return it to her, which ultimately resulted in her murder.
After the issue was highlighted by the local media, the SAC took a suo motu notice of the incident and ordered a re-autopsy on the body after both Jamila and Abbas confessed to killing Shabana.
The court in its latest hearing held this week directed the chief secretary to take action against the doctors who had conducted the autopsy earlier. The police also reprimanded the superintendent of Gilgit police for trying to save the accused.
Shabana’s father and brother had earlier rejected the post-mortem report, terming it fake. They had appealed to the Chief Justice of the SAC to order the re-examination of the body by an independent panel of doctors. It was only after court’s order that the case was reinvestigated.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.