Gilgit: Nurse’s murderer sentenced to death
GILGIT: Verdict in nurse Shabana Akhtar’s murder case has been handed down. An Anti-Terrorism court on Monday awarded death penalty to the main accused, and life imprisonment and seven years jail to two others accused of killing the 20-year-old nurse in May and then portraying it as a suicide in Gilgit.
“Besides the death penalty, the main accused, Nadeem Abbas, was also fined Rs0.3 million,” court sources told The Express Tribune.
In a short order released on Monday by ATC Judge Justice Raja Shahbaz Khan, Jamila Bibi, a hostel warden, was awarded life imprisonment while the co-accused, Ijlal Hussain, was sentenced to seven years in jail. However, the court acquitted the doctors who were allegedly involved in faking an autopsy report.
Akhtar, a young nurse from the Astore valley, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her room at a Gilgit nursing hostel in May. Initially, police closed the case after a panel of doctors, headed by Medical Officer Dr Yaqoob, examined the body and declared it a suicide.
However, after the brother and father of Shabana rejected the post-mortem report and appealed to the chief justice of Gilgit’s Supreme Appellate Court for re-examination of the body by independent panel of doctors, the court took suo motu notice of the murder.
Consequently, the police launched fresh investigations into the incident which eventually led them to Jamila, the hostel’s warden, and Nadeem Abbas, a male nurse, who later confessed to killing the 20-year-old nurse.
The murder’s motive, police said, was an indecent video of Jamila that nurse Shabana had in her phone and was refusing to delete. Jamila confessed that in order to regain the video clip she managed to make Shabana unconscious and then got her raped by her accomplice.
After court orders, a team of experts from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences [PIMS] Islamabad reached Gilgit and exhumed the body for re-examination.
“It was then revealed that she had not been subjected to autopsy before,” said an investigation officer.
On Monday, the court in its short order, however, acquitted the doctors.
In September, as the incident came to light, the health secretary and health services director were also handcuffed by police on court orders, as they had failed to take action against Dr Yaqoob who allegedly conducted a fake autopsy.