SHEIKHUPURA: An Agriculture department district official slit the throat of his wife and three disabled children on Thursday afternoon in the Mohallah Gulistan area.
According to police officials, Sufi Shaukat murdered his wife Naseem Bibi and severely injured three of his disabled children.
Shaukat was the father of six children, Munazzah (14), Khurram (10), Sidrah (8) and Iqra, Qainat and Owais. Munazzah, Khurram and Sidrah suffered from severe muscular disabilities. Munazzah and Sidrah were paralysed from the waist down while Khurram could not move any body muscles below his neck.
DHQ Hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Shah Inayat, said that the three children were also mentally disabled and that they had been this way since birth. “We had noticed a conflict between the two parents on whether or not the children should continue to be treated. Naseem always insisted on treatment but Shaukat had often suggested that they be sent to a psychiatric facility in Lahore,” Dr Inayat said. On Thursday afternoon, Naseem Bibi took her three children for physiotherapy at the hospital and when she returned Shaukat allegedly slit her throat with a scythe. “Their younger child Owais came running and called us in to help,” said Shaukat’s neighbour Imran, adding that he had often heard Shaukat saying that the children ought to be ‘put out of their misery’.
“He wanted them gone because he couldn’t afford their hospital bills,” said Raheela, Imran’s wife. Raheela said that Shaukat and his wife often quarreled over taking their children to the hospital. “Naseem refused to be separated from the kids and said that Shaukat initially suggested they be sent to Fountain House in Lahore. He later said that it was better just to kill them,” Raheela said.
Raheela and Imran rushed the three injured children to the hospital, where the doctors admitted them. Dr Inayat said that Khurram was currently in critical condition but both girls were also seriously injured. “Munazzah and Sidrah have upper body function and they were able to resist Shaukat but Khurram couldn’t,” he said.
Sheikhupura district superintendent police (DSP) Tariq Zafar Gujjar said that they had conducted an initial investigation but Shaukat had escaped. “He did not commit this crime with any malicious intent. Shaukat has a very good reputation. He is known as a very peaceful person,” Gujjar said, adding that Shaukat had been provoked because his wife disobeyed him and took the children to the hospital without his knowledge. “We are looking for Shaukat but his colleagues and neighbours have said that he was innocent”, the DSP said. “They said all he wanted was for his children to be treated at Fountain House in Lahore because he couldn’t afford the weekly hospital fees,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 10th, 2010.
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