ISLAMABAD - Blasting the authorities for their inaction in stoning to death of a woman near Khanewal, the supreme court Friday summoned Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) and the provincial advocate general on July 23.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing suo moto notice on the killing of a woman in Katcha Khoa Chak No.15 in district Khanewal.
When at 9:30am the bench started the hearing, Punjab Advocate General Ashtar Ausaf told the court that the dispute was a result of cutting of grass by deceased Maryam Bibi from someone other’s land tract. He said, according to the police, a panchayat was called to resolve the matter and not to kill the lady. The AG said that the husband of the deceased, Muhammad Sarfraz, was yet to be recovered.
On that, the chief justice ordered him to talk to Punjab chief minister and the IGP. After an hour when the court retook the case the AG told the bench that Sarfraz was found dead today (Friday) and his body was lying near a canal. Three accused in the killing of the woman have also been arrested, he added. He said the CM has taken notice of the case and he was planning to visit the area.
The chief justice remarked that at the court’s pressing the police recovered the body of Sarfraz and arrested three people within 45 minutes. He said that on July 18, the electronic media reported the stoning to death of the poor woman in Khanewal area, allegedly following the decision of a panchayat.
He said the manner in which Maryam Bibi was murdered, as reported, prima facie depicts the picture of barbarism, wherein accused persons without caring for the law murdered the woman in a highly gruesome manner. The state machinery, instead of showing authority and taking action against the culprits with full force, considered it a matter of an ordinary nature, he added.
The CJ said, despite the registration of FIR on July 18, the IGP being the commandant of police forces took no action. “Why not he should be removed immediately?” he remarked. The chief justice directed Deputy Attorney General Shafi Channdio to take up this matter with the higher authority. The chief justice said that in Sarfraz Shah case the federal government had changed Sindh IGP and Rangers DG. The case was adjourned till July 23.