Killer gets 25 years in prison

Sonia Bibi was killed for refusing a marriage proposal.

ISLAMABAD: A District and Sessions Court in the federal capital has sentenced a young man to 25 years in prison for killing a 24-year-old Christian woman for refusing his marriage proposal.

District and Sessions Judge Azam Khan heard the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant District Public Prosecutor Rana Hassan Abbas.

The tragic incident unfolded when the convict, Shehzad, sent his family to the victim, Sonia Bibi’s, parents with a marriage proposal. The girl’s family declined the proposal, citing religious differences since Shehzad was a Muslim, and they were Christians.

According to the prosecution, Shehzad began threatening Sonia in the months that followed. Eventually, on November 30, 2020, he chased and fatally shot her on an Islamabad highway.

Following the incident, Sonia’s body was taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Hospital, where doctors confirmed her death. The court’s verdict was based on the testimony of 14 witnesses and the prosecution’s evidence, ultimately finding Shehzad guilty of the crime.

In addition to the prison sentence, Shehzad was ordered to pay a fine of Rs1 million to the victim’s heirs.

The court further ruled that failure to make this payment would result in an additional six months of imprisonment.

Moreover, three other accused were acquitted in the case. The court found that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against co-accused Naghmana Shaheen and Saba Shehryar and, therefore, acquitted them due to reasonable doubt.

The court also issued an order to return the belongings of the deceased girl, including her clothing, to her family. Shehzad alias Shani, the convicted criminal, is already in custody, and the court directed that he remain in jail to serve his sentence. Conversely, the acquitted accused, Faizan, was ordered to be released.

The case was originally registered at Koral police station on November 30, 2020, under charges of murder and other applicable provisions.

Soon after the incident, officers from the Koral police station had arrested the accused, Faizan, launching a manhunt for the arrest of the prime suspect, Shehzad.

The accused and the victim were residents of the Old Airport area in Rawalpindi.

Initial investigation at the time had revealed that Faizan had picked up Sonia and taken her to meet Shehzad who then turned on the girl.

Sonia Bibi was a domestic cleaner and there were concerns for the welfare of her family for whom she was the main breadwinner.

According to police, on the day of the incident, the girl was traveling with Faizan on a highway, when Shehzad opened fire on her.

They said the murder appeared to have been carried out of personal resentment. However, the deputy inspector general (DIG) of the police had said the police were investigating all aspects.

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