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Re-investigation into Adeeba murder case, cancellation of accused’s bail demanded

By Gul Nayab

ISLAMABAD: The state prosecutor on Monday filed an appeal in court for the cancellation of bail of two accused in the Adeeba murder case amid protests in different parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and other cities of Pakistan seeking justice for the victim and an end to rising violence against women.

The Gojal Assistant Commissioner Arif Hussain announced that the state has filed an appeal in the Chief Court of Gilgit for the cancellation of bails of the accused.  He assured that a fair trial will be ensured and justice will be done to the victim’s family.

A court in Gilgit on Friday granted bail to father-in-law Samim Shah and his son Fahim Shah,  the prime accused in the case that prompted anger and condemnation on social media by activists and youth of the region.

A massive protest by the people of Gulmit, Ghulkin, Passu, Hussaini, and Shimshal, mostly young educated women and activists and men, was organized at Gulmit, headquarter of Gojal Sub-Division of Hunza District on Monday. They were joined by over 50 young women and men from Shimshal, seeking justice for Adeeba, re-investigation of the case, and cancellation of bail of the prime accused.

Protests are being held for the last three days in Shimshal and across the country, against the brutal murder of the 27-year-old woman allegedly by her in-laws in June this year and disguised as a suicide.

The demonstrators also demanded that the forensic report should be made public, and law against domestic violence should be enacted in the region.

A protest was also staged outside Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly on Monday. Speaking to the protesters, Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmad Advocate assured that the government will look into the case again and deal with the culprits with iron hands who are creating hurdles in the path of provision of justice to Adeeba.

The Deputy Speaker raised questions on the investigation and assured that the government will take notice of it and ensure the provision of justice to the victim.

He said that it was the responsibility of the state and the government to protect the life of citizens as guaranteed by the constitution of Pakistan.

Addressing the protesters, right activists demanded early legislation on domestic violence against women and enforcement of laws on fundamental human rights. They slammed the government for not giving basic human rights top priority.

They alleged that some powerful and influential elements were trying to make the case weak, and protect the accused. They demanded the Chairman of Supreme Applet Court, government, and police to find out the causes behind the murder of Adeeba and punish the culprits involved in the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) also issued a statement expressing concerns over reports of honour crimes in Gilgit-Baltistan disguised as suicides. The HRCP demanded reinvestigations of the Adeeba murder case by a team including a female member and also demanded to cancel the bail of the accused.

Earlier on Sunday, a protest was held at the National Press Club, Islamabad and Karachi Press Club where the speakers said that it was disheartening to see women suffering in so-called educated societies and asked for immediate enactment of a law against domestic violence in Gilgit-Baltistan.

According to the FIR, Adeeba was killed by her in-laws in June after seven months of her marriage threw her body at a nearby river bank and showed it as a suicide. The police arrested the in-laws of the victim on the complaint of the woman’s family members.

The Gulmit Police after preliminary investigation, registered an FIR against the suspects under section 302/34, in which it was mentioned that the two accused had confessed to their crime. The accused, Samim Shah and Faheem Shah (Father and Son), were later sent to jail by a session court, while the investigation was underway.

The family of Adeeba has submitted a review petition, requesting the court to cancel the bail and use forensic evidence, including the autopsy report to dispense justice.

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