Vehari: Autopsy confirms torture caused student’s death
VEHARI: The autopsy report of the seven-year-old blind student, Atif, who died after being subjected to corporal punishment allegedly by a seminary teacher here on Thursday, has confirmed that the victim was tortured severely which led to his instant death.
The accused teacher, Qari Ziauddin, has been sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand and the area deputy superintendent of police (DSP) has said that challan against the accused would be submitted to the trial court within seven days.
Talking to Dawn here on Friday, DHQ Hospital medical superintendent (MS) Dr Shahid Saleem said that autopsy had indicated that head injuries had caused Atif’s death. He said that various wound marks were also found on the victim’s body which suggested that he had been tortured brutally. DSP Muhammad Akram Niazi told Dawn that a case under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code had been registered against the accused on the complaint of victim’s mother Gulzar Mai.
The DSP said the rope with which Atif was hanged upside down had also been recovered from the seminary, Masjid Qari Latif in Union Council-1 near Khanewal Chowk. This correspondent also visited Atif’s hometown, Basti Islamabad Chak No 95WB, on Friday and met his parents Fiaz Ahmed and Gulzar Mai.
Atif’s mother said they got their son enrolled in the seminary around a year ago and since then they received multiple complaints that Qari Ziauddin was subjecting his pupils, including Atif, to torture but they did not take any notice.
Amir, Atif’s cousin as well as classmate, said that Qari used to torture students quite frequently. He said that Qari was an addict and used to smoke 20 to 30 cigarettes of hashish daily while tutoring.
He said he was eyewitness to Atif’s hanging with a fan’s hook for about an hour. He said that Qari also clubbed Atif while he was hanged upside down due to which Atif fainted. He said that when some students insisted on taking Atif to a hospital, Qari refused and when the victim’s condition deteriorated further, Qari locked the seven-year-old in his room and fled to his hometown Luddan. Amir said that when he broke open the door, Atif had died.
He also showed signs of Qari’s torture on his own left hand fingernails. He said that Qari’s smoking and torturing had made 29 students to leave the seminary out which 15 belonged to Atif’s family and the same locality.
This correspondent also visited the seminary and tried to meet the institution’s head, Qari Latif, but he was not available for comments. According to neighbours, he had gone to Lahore after the incident. DSP Niazi confirmed that the accused teacher was an addict and the police caught him smoking charas. Locked up at the city police station, Qari Ziauddin told Dawn that he did not expect Atif’s death in the wake of treatment he gave to him.
He admitted that Atif died because of severe torture and that he had no justification for his action. However, he denied the allegation of smoking hashish and said that he was just smoking simple cigarettes. Earlier, Atif’s funeral was held in his native town Basti Islamabad attended by a large number of people from all walks of life. Later, he was buried in a local graveyard.