A report by HRCP field officer in Karachi
On 26th June, I received a phone call from Kainat Soomro, a gang-rape victim, who informed me that her 24-year-old brother, Sabir Soomro alias Naiz, who was kidnapped from their village on March 28, 2010, had been murdered and the family was bringing the body to the Karachi Press Club (KPC) to stage a protest against the murder.
According to the family, Sabir was picked up by police in Dadu in March on the pretext that he was a suspect in a robbery case. Four men have been charged with abducting Kainat Soomro in January 2007 in her native village in Dadu district and subjecting her to gang-rape.
On June 27, the family of Kainat Soomro reached the KPC along with the body of Sabir, and after a brief press conference, the family decided to stage a sit-in outside the Governor’s House. Police prevented the bereaved family from carrying the body to the Governor’s House and manhandled the family, forcing them to leave the area.
The HRCP team had already informed the print and electronic media which was present at the KPC to cover the protest. Advocate Faisal Siddiqui and Javed Burqi who were representing Kainat, a victim of gang rape, in the rape case. Mr. Burqi contacted Niaz Malik, secretary to the Sindh Chief Minister who sent District Police Officer (South) to take the body for post-mortem. The medico-legal officer (MLO) at the Jinnah Hospital enquired from Nal Police Station in Khuzdar Balochistan from where the dead body was recovered and stated that the death was caused by a gunshot wound and as such no post-mortem was required. The MLO refused to carry out post-mortem. The deceased’s father, Nabi Soomro, requested the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) that the family needs protection as well as money for the burial of the deceased at their ancestral village, Mehar, in Dadu district. An HRCP team comprising Hasan Athaer and I started making arrangements to carry the dead body and around two dozen family members to the family’s ancestral village. The HRCP team also made arranged food for the family.
Meanwhile I conveyed these details to the HRCP Vice-Chairperson (Sindh), who contacted the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) and the Chief Minister about this tragic incident and the situation at the KPC. Consequently, CCPO Waseem Ahmed reached the site, and assured the family of adequate security. He also ordered an inquiry into Sabir’s disappearance from his native village. The CCPO arranged protection for Kainat Soomro’s family and also provided transport to carry the body with their family to Mehar for funeral proceedings.
Later on, the family informed me that they had safely reached their village and a police contingent had been deputed for their protection. The Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police also assured them to take the necessary steps in Sabir’s murder case. The FIR against the kidnappers was registered in Mehar Police Station on 30th June 2010.
The HRCP Karachi office had written to the Sindh Inspector General and the DIG about the kidnapping of Sabir from his village on March 28, 2010, asking them to recover Sabir safely and ensure that the kidnappers are brought to justice.
A tearful Kainat Soomro holds a picture of her brother during a protest on June 27, 2010. Courtesy PPI