March 13, 2022
By Ayoob Rajper
It was only because her mother was sick that 27-year-old Rukhsana Rind went to her family home in zila Sarhari (Sanghar) on March 3, accompanied by her husband Farooq Brohi (30), and her baby girl in her arms. But the family had little idea what was in store for them.
Not just was her parents’ home empty and desolate – only the barren mud walls remained, but before she could even enter the house, an axe landed on her head, making her crumple to the ground in a heap.
Her husband was not spared either. Men from the Rind family – including her father and brother – first axed them brutally, then shot them. After that, they fled from the house without leaving a trace behind. Whatever they left were the bodies of the two young husband and wife – mutilated beyond recognition, and their eight-month-old infant daughter – now forever without the love and affection of her parents, but thankfully unwounded. It must have been her constant crying that must have alerted the neighbours.
Speaking to Voicepk, the murdered Farooq Brohi’s brother, who is also the complainant in the FIR lodged at the Zila Sarhari police station, said that this incident had been a shock for everyone as the couple, who had contracted a love marriage had in fact been visiting both sides of the family since a long time. Having married of their own free will had caused offence to the Rind family but it seemed that since the last two years the matter had been reconciled, said Karam Khan Brohi.
“Rukhsana’s father called my brother Farooq and told him that her mother was not well, you should come, and bring Rukhsana along as well,” he said. “But when they reached there, first they killed them, then they fled from the house, leaving behind the couple’s eight-month-old baby girl alone in the house.”
Karam Khan says they killed Rukhsana outside the front door of the house and killed Farooq inside the house.
“These people were like our family,” says Imam Ali Brohi, the victim’s maternal uncle. “There was absolutely no difference between us. Absolutely none. To the extent that it did not even matter that we are Brohis and they are Rinds. Even that difference was not felt. We did not even understand how they did something like this. They had actually vacated their house one day ago – and not one person knew about this.”
In the FIR, the Brohi family has nominated Rukhsana’s father, her brother and a cousin of the father have been nominated. But only one arrest has been made until now.
Voicepk contacted the SHO of Sarhari station to find out more about the suspect in custody.
SHO Muhammad Ali Zardari revealed that the suspect was the father, Abdul Ghani Brohi, who had been unable to digest the fact that his daughter had been married to someone he did not approve of, and of her own will. He still looked upon it as an elopement.
“He felt (Farooq) had made his daughter run away – the reason is this for sure,” says the police officer. “There is no other reason. You can call it honour killing or whatever you like.”
He said the bodies had been sent for their postmortem as well. “We are still conducting raids, but there is no room for suspicion, or for us to arrest anyone under suspicion,” he adds. “We have nominated persons in the FIR, and God willing we will arrest them and bring them to justice.”
According to a local NGO that works on honour killing, called Sindh Suhai Sath, the province seems to have seen a rise in so-called ‘honour killings’. A survey by the NGO reveals that 176 people – 48 men and 128 women have been killed in 2021, by their own families. Along with that, in four districts of upper Sindh, there has also been a drastic increase in such cases.
ALSO READ: https://voicepk.net/2020/03/axed-to-death
Weak prosecution, incompetence within the police force, and loopholes in the case result in only a two per cent conviction rate. In most cases, the cases never even reach court because the police push for a compromise between families.
“The FIR that the police have registered seems to be correct,” says Asghar Ali Mahesar
Advocate, Sindh High Court. The FIR has been filed under Sections 302 (murder), 311 (honour killing), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), and 34 PPC (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).
“It just shows that the woman cannot marry out of her own choice,” he says. “Now it’s just a matter of investigation. If the police present the challan in court within 14 days, and if within 40 days the trial court deals with the case, the case may bring justice.”
Sanghar is one of the districts in Sindh where several cases of so-called ‘honour killing’ has been reported quite a few times, especially over the last two years.
One case reported in November 2020 was that of Gulshana Shar, who had issued a video statement claiming she was scared of being murdered by her husband on the accusation of having an illicit affair with someone else.
However, it was her own brother who finally shot her and who claimed he had been under pressure from her husband and other local tribesmen. Sanghar police did arrest Gulshana’s murderer, Taj Muhammed alias Taju Shar, who had shot his sister in the social evil known as ‘karo kari‘.
In April 2021, yet another shocking incident of so-called honour killing took place when a 45-year-old woman was killed by her two sons over an alleged relationship with a neighbour.
Dela Magsi was accused of having developed an illicit relationship with her neighbour Al-Bachaio Magsi. The incident occurred in Majnoon Magsi village within the limits of Nawabad Police Station near Jam Nawaz Ali taluka of Sanghar district in Sindh. Dela Magsi’s two sons axed their mother and the neighbour to death.