‘Honour’ killing?: Mysterious death of a teenage girl baffles police, rights activist

Victim’s father says she was shot dead by her six-year-old sister.


Our Correspondent April 25, 2012

MANSEHRA:


The death of a teenage girl by her six-year-old sisterin Bhonja village raised quite a few questions by human rights activists on Tuesday.


While the 14-year-old girl’s father claims that she was shot dead by her sister who was cleaning her father’s 12-bore licensed shotgun”by accident,” human rights activists say they are not ready to accept this “preposterous claim”.

According to the police, the teenage girl was busy in her household chores when she was accidently shot in the chest by her younger sister.

The girl died instantly, said a police official quoting her father. He disclosed that the father has not registered a case with the police and has even refused to conduct an autopsy of the victim.

The official agreed that the girl’s death was “mysterious,” adding that the police are investigating the case on their own.

Meanwhile, human rights activist Gulnaz Shah, who is also a member of the District Public Safety Commission, said she was sceptical of the statement given by the victim’s father.

“I cannot accept that a six-year-old girl was cleaning a firearm; it is not physically possible for such a young girl to even hold a shotgun. Also, how could she be cleaning a loaded gun?” questioned Shah.

She said that history was replete with such cases, in which killings of girls and women in the name of honour are twisted in ways so that the killers escape punishment, or the murders are hushed up by terming them as accidents.

“When it comes to punishing the murderers of girls and women, the accused often twist the case in connivance with the police,” she added.

Shah demanded a thorough investigation into the case and demanded that the girl’s body be exhumed for an autopsy.

The human rights activist said that incidents of honour killing are on the rise in Hazara for the last several years.

“These cases are indicative of the disrespect our chauvinistic society has for women, despite the fact that the world has laws to discourage such crimes,” she added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.

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