Karak: Rape victim’s brother shot dead outside court, in police presence
PESHAWAR/KARAK: Alamzeb Khattak, 25, a brother of Uzma Ayub, the teenage pregnant rape victim, was shot dead on Friday at 1:30pm, allegedly by three persons, an eyewitness said.
Ibrahim, son of Jehan Shah, a brother of ASI Hakeem Khan, along with his driver Pir Abdul Waheed, was named by Zafranullah, a brother of the deceased, who saw the killing on the Takht Nusrati court premises.
Police sources said the three police officials, including Inspector Peer Mohsin Shah, Sub-Inspector Ameer Muhammad and Assistant Sub-Inspector Hakeem Khan and another accused Qamar Ali, allegedly involved in the rape of Uzma Ayub, were produced before the court of civil judge Takht Nusrati Asif Iqbal and their plea of bails were cancelled by the court, and they were sent to prison.
The killing took place days after the victim, Uzma Ayub, had rejected an out-of-court deal offered by the accused police officers. On December 6, she had claimed that about 30-40 elders from ASI Hakeem Khan’s area Gudikhel, including MPA Shah Abdul Aziz, had come to her house on November 2 and told her brother Alamzeb that Hakeem Khan, Pir Mohsin Shah and Ameer Khan had confessed of their crime before them and were ready to accept the aggrieved family’s demands.
Uzma’s brother was coming out of the court after the hearing when the said armed assailants opened indiscriminate fire, killing him on the spot. He added that about 5-6 police officials were present at the gate, but nobody stopped the killers, who escaped safely.
The killing raised serious questions about the security provided to the young rape victim and her family, specially after three police officials were arrested for the crime. The daylight murder also confirmed fears raised by numerous human rights organisations about Uzma’s safety.
Her brother Alamzeb told The News: “I and my mother Bilqees Begum had left for the court in the morning and when we reached there, we found about 50 persons present on the premises of the court as supporters of Hakeem Khan from Gudikkhel area and protesting against the hearing afterwards.”
Zafranullah said that after coming out of the court, Alamzeb asked him to take their mother home and that he would tell him about the hearing later. “When Alamzeb was about to ride his motorbike, a car hit him and Alamzeb tried to run away, but Pir Abdul Waheed, the driver, held him and Ibrahim, the brother of Hakeem Khan, shot him on his head and chest. Alamzeb was sprayed with five bullets.”
Uzma’s family sources said the car that hit Alamzeb was slate coloured with No899, and DPO Sajid Mohmand had provided it to ASI Hakeem Khan, who is now in jail.
When contacted, Uzma Ayub said that while leaving for the court in the morning, her brother had talked to him for the last time, saying that he was going to collect all the required documents and soon they would shift to Peshawar and would also transfer their case to the Peshawar High Court.
She said that her family had dropped her at her elder sister’s house and she had packed her luggage for shifting to Peshawar. She further said that three days back, her family had received threatening messages from Hakeem Khan, saying: “I am anyway in jail, but soon Bilqees Begum (Uzma’s mother) will receive a gift from me.”
Uzma Ayub said that she had learnt from a relative that while Alamzeb was in hospital, some of Hakeem’s accomplices had asked about her as they also wanted to kill her.
She said despite the threats, she had not been provided with any kind of security from the police department or from the provincial government.
When The News reporter Nasir Iqbal Khattak contacted the district police officer (DPO) Sajid Ahmad Khan Mohmand for comments, he said that he was in a meeting at Kohat. When he was informed about the incident, he claimed that the Alamzeb family had many enemies; therefore, it would be premature to say who was involved in the killing. The DPO said the police were investigating the case from different angles to ascertain the truth and reach the real culprits.
When he was told that a few weeks ago, the slain Alamzeb had expressed fears that Taliban had given threats to his family to go for abortion or face the consequences, the DPO said that they had thoroughly investigated the threats, but there was no reality in Alamzeb’s claim. He added that they would see the statements of the relatives of Alamzeb and after the nomination of the accused in the FIR, they would act accordingly.
Meanwhile, Ansar Burney, the head of the Ansar Burney Trust, condemned the killing of Alamzeb and said that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had totally failed to protect the lives of a victim already suffering the consequences of a terrible crime. He said that he had warned the government earlier to provide security to the victim family, but it did not bother to do so.
Ansar Burney said that the incident was an outcome of negligence on the part of the government as well as the police department. He said as he had announced to take responsibility of Uzma and his child, so the time has now come to take the step. He further said that the killing of the innocent young brother, fighting for justice for his sister, depicts the ugly side of the police department.
The Asian Human Rights Commission and members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Organisations, including Blue Veins, Women Action Forum, Shirkatgah, Aurat Foundation, Sparc, CRSD and SRD, have strongly condemned the brutal killing in front of a court and in the presence of police in large numbers.
These organisations announced to hold a countrywide protest, admitting that it was their defeat that they could not understand the gravity of the situation and were taking things lightly, but now it was the time to fight against the system. The human rights activists urged the government to arrest the killers of Alamzeb as soon as possible.