Peshawar: Swat militant held in woman flogging case
PESHAWAR: An alleged member of Tehrik-i-Taliban Swat, Fazal Hadi, stated to be a central character in the famous flogging incident of a woman in Swat in 2009, was arrested on Monday evening by Swat police.
An official at the concerned Charbagh police station confirmed to Dawn on telephone that the suspect, Fazal Hadi, was arrested by a raiding team at his ancestral area Asbarn when he returned from Sindh province, where he had been hiding since 2009.
A video footage of the incident, which surfaced on April 2, 2009, had taken the entire country by storm and had drawn widespread condemnation. Throughout the two-minute footage the victim girl was screaming out of pain and praying: “For God’s sake, please stop it, stop it.” All her pleas had gone on deaf ears as a militant, with black beard and a turban, continued his job and stopped only after completing the “sentence” of lashing her 34 times.
The FIR of the occurrence was registered at Charbagh police station on Nov 30, 2010, nearly two years after the incident.
An official at the police station informed that a woman named Saira had turned up before the police and claimed that she was the woman shown in the said footage.
He added that the woman, who was married having two children, had charged Fazal Hadi by name along with several other suspected militants of the area.
He said that the militants had defamed the said woman by accusing her immorality. He added that a so-called Shariah court of militants had ordered 30 lashes sentence for her.
The official told Dawn that the SHO, Khairur Rehman, had received report from a source that the suspect would return from Hyderabad to visit his residence. He added that a raiding team was constituted which kept an eye on the area and when the suspect arrived he was arrested.
Following the surfacing of the said video, Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and the spokesman of Tehrik-i-Taliban Swat, Muslim Khan, had claimed that the incident had taken place before the signing of a peace agreement between the government and Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-i-Muhammadi on Feb 16, 2009. Both of them had alleged that the footage was surfaced by some elements who wanted to sabotage the said peace deal.