Woman arrested over minor servant’s ‘murder’



Karachi police on Friday arrested a woman for allegedly killing her 11-year-old domestic helper and torturing the victim’s elder brothers as well. The death sparked protests in the boy’s native village in Tharparkar district, and recrimination from politicians. East Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Zubair Naseer Shaikh confirmed that the woman was arrested.

The first information report (FIR) was filed today against the woman, Shirin Asad, by the children’s father after his son died on Feb 8 in Gulshan-i-Iqbal area’s Block 13-D. It was registered under Sections 302 (punishment of qatl-i-amd – murder), 324 (attempt to commit qatl-i-amd), 334 (punishment for Itlaf-udw) and 337-A (i) (punishment of shajjah) of the Pakistan Penal Code and read with sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act, the SSP said. The complainant, Qabool Manthar Ali, is a resident of Keetar Goth in Tharparkar District’s Chachro tehsil. His three sons — aged 11, 13, and 16 years old — had been working at the woman’s house for the past six, 13 and 14 months, respectively, according to the FIR.

It added that they were being paid Rs15,000 a month, which was being transferred to a resident of the same village, who would transfer the amount to the father. However, at around 2pm on Feb 8, the complainant’s cousin informed him that his 11-year-old son had died in Karachi.

The father then contacted his younger brother, Mitha Khan, who said the suspect told him that the boy was injured after falling from a rickshaw about 15 days ago, and then on Feb 8, he slipped and fell in the bathroom, after which he was taken to Zain Hospital in Gulshan-i-Iqbal and then moved to Dow University of Health Sciences, where he died.

The FIR further said that when Mitha and other relatives reached the Gulshan-i-Iqbal police station to collect the body, the police wanted to conduct a post-mortem examination, but they refused – in writing – to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.