Child domestic help dies of ‘torture’ – 11 Feb 2023

Employer arrested in connection with murder, cops suspended

Police arrested a woman on Friday for allegedly murdering an underage domestic worker and torturing his elder brother at her residence in Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area.

The First Information Report (FIR) of the case was registered at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal police station on the complaint of the victims’ father.

Qabool Manthar Ali, a resident of Keetar village in Tharparkar’s Chachro sub-district, said that his three sons – Razzaq, 16, Rasheed, 13, and Rafiq, 11 – worked for accused Shirin Asad at her residence in Block 13-D. They had been working there for Shirin for over a year, while his youngest Rafiq had been employed there since the last six months.

They were paid Rs15,000 each. The amount was transferred to a person in his village every month, who gave the money to Maqbool, he wrote in his complaint.

On Wednesday, a cousin informed him of Rafiq’s death. He called his younger brother, who spoke the employer. Shirin Asad told Qabool’s brother that the youngest Rafiq had fallen off a rickshaw a fortnight ago. He had fallen again in the bathroom again after which he was taken to the hospital but could not make it. The father told his brother to bring the body back for burial. When his brother went to get the body, the police had sent it for postmortem, he told police in his statement. The family was against it and communicated the same to the medico-legal officer at the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. “We gave it in writing,” the FIR quotes Qabool.

The heirs arrived in Tharparkar on Thursday. This included Qabool’s other two sons. After the burial, Qabool asked his sons what had happened.

The eldest Razzaq told him that the woman was violent and that his brother was never in a rickshaw accident, according to the FIR. The complaint said that the woman would hit the boys with hot tongs. It said that she used a plier to pull out Razzaq’s nail. Qabool told police that he had examined his son’s hands and body and it bore torture marks.

Karachi police chief Javed Alam Odho suspended DSP Abu Talha and the station house officer (SHO) of the area over their negligence in the case.

East SSP Zubair Shaikh said the officers had failed to register the FIR or get the post-mortem done.

Meanwhile, the victim’s family and locals from the village held a protest in their hometown Keetar Goth on Friday. People from Keetar Goth and surrounding villages working in Karachi organized another protest in the city outside the house of the woman accused of the murder.

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