Parallel justice: Jirga sets free man accused of killing wife

Charges accused with mentally torturing spouse.


Sarfaraz Memon December 16, 2013
The jirga heard arguments from both families and then announced its verdict in favour of the accused husband. DESIGN: FAIZAN DAWOOD

SUKKUR: A jirga held in Moro on Sunday set free a man who allegedly stabbed his wife after she failed to conceive a baby.

Last week, Allah Bux Solangi, a resident of Marvi Colony in Dadu, had a heated argument with his wife, Soomal Solangi. He was so worked up that he allegedly stabbed her and escaped. Soomal was severely injured and was rushed to Shaheed Benazirabad hospital where she died. According to sources privy to the matter, Soomal’s mother, Fatima, went to A-Section police in Dadu to lodge a complaint but the law enforcers refused to do so.

The residents decided to hold a jirga under the supervision of an elder, Ali Asghar Solangi. According to sources, the accused husband’s uncle, Peeral Solangi, and Fatima were among several people who attended this jirga.

The jirga heard arguments from both families and then announced its verdict in favour of the accused husband. They did, however, charge him for mentally torturing his wife after she failed to conceive a baby and, hence, resorted to suicide. They fined him Rs300,000 for this.

Both the families agreed with the jirga verdict and the matter was resolved ‘amicably’, said sources, adding that the suspect, Allah Bux, will be paying the fine in two equal instalments - first in January and the second in February.

Reports of the jirga verdict finally reached the law enforcers and Dadu SSP Tariq Dharejo gave orders to his team to lodge an FIR against Allah Bux. Fatima told reporters in Moro that she does not want to claim her daughter killed herself.

Nevertheless, Dadu police have lodged the FIR. A-section police head constable Asghar Panhwar told The Express Tribune that they have lodged FIR No. 275/2013, but no arrests have been made yet. Sections 322 and 316 deal with the crime of torturing a person and forcing them to commit suicide, he explained.

What about charging those men who held the jirga? Panhwar said they have received no such instructions. The doctors said she committed suicide by consuming poisonous chemicals, he said, adding that Soomal’s family stopped the doctors from conducting an autopsy. Meanwhile, A-Section police SHO Akbar Channa and SSP Dharejo were unavailable for comments.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2013.

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