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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Fatima Rape and Murder Case: Should the Parents be Held Accountable?

Fatima's torture, rape and murder case reignites the debate about making strict laws against people who sell off their minor daughters to rich families.

In a heart-wrenching incident that has sent shockwaves through the nation, Pir Asad Shah Jeelani, a member of the esteemed Pirs of Ranipur, has been apprehended by Khairpur Police for the alleged rape and torturous death of his 10-year-old maid, Fatima Furiro.

The horrifying details came to light when distressing video clips circulated on social media, depicting Fatima’s lifeless body marked by brutal signs of torture. The footage portrays the young girl struggling to rise from her bed in Pir Asad’s chamber within his grand “Haveli”. Later in the video, the accused’s wife, a faith healer herself, enters the room to discover the unconscious child sprawled on the floor. The prime suspect is seen in the video, handling the lifeless maid callously.

The video will not be included here because of its graphic content, which might be difficult for some readers to watch.

The graphic footage ignited an outpouring of outrage on social media, with voices demanding swift action against those involved in the appalling crime.

The primary suspect, Pir Asad Shah Jeelani, was taken into custody by Khairpur Police. Presented before Judicial Magistrate Sobho Dero, the police sought a 15-day remand for the accused. The magistrate, however, granted a 4-day physical remand after careful consideration.

Pir Asad Shah’s familial ties include being the cousin of PPP MNA Syed Fazal Shah and the son-in-law of PPP vice chairman Syed Fayyaz Shah.

Initial efforts were made to mask the tragedy, as Fatima‘s family hastily buried her and attributed her demise to natural causes. However, the truth unraveled as evidence surfaced.

While the arrest of the accused garnered social media’s fervent condemnation, questions began to surface regarding the circumstances. Why was a tender ten-year-old girl employed as a maid? Why was her death concealed without a proper postmortem, despite glaring signs of torture? These inquiries echo the urgent need to combat child labor and demand accountability for those who exploit vulnerable lives.

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Activists argue that the victim’s parents should face strict legal penalties for their role in selling their daughter into servitude and concealing her tragic fate. Amidst the turmoil, the mother’s initial deception and subsequent admission have added layers to the distressing tale. Reports suggest potential police involvement in suppressing the family’s outcry.

In a bid to address the negligence that allowed such a tragedy to unfold, DIG Sukkur Javeed Jiskani ordered the suspension of SHO Ranipur. This measure followed failure to comply with orders to exhume Fatima’s body for post-mortem examination.

While this case has shone a spotlight on the dire issue of child labor, it is just one manifestation of a pervasive problem across Pakistan. In the eyes of many, the root culprits remain the parents who perpetrate the sale of their own children—a heartbreaking indictment of a societal crisis that demands urgent intervention.