Saturday, April 25, 2009
THE Punjab government has launched a probe into the alleged gang rape and murder of a young girl at Arifwala Tehsil Headquarter Hospital (THQ) and directed medical superintendents of district and tehsil hospitals to appear before the Punjab Surgeon Medico-legal with case record.
The subject of the letter written by the surgeon medico-legal (1888-94/SML, April 18, 2009) is investigation of case no 173/09 U/S 302/376/109 PPC against Malik Usman and Ghulam Hussain. The letter said that “Reference Government of Punjab, Health Department letter No S.O (H&D) 1-34/2009 (Pakpattan) dated April 17 vide which the undersigned (the surgeon medical-legal) has been appointed to conduct an inquiry into the matter citied above”. It said Usman Zafar etc committed gang rape with Kiran Bibi (aged 15/16 years) and she was taken to Arifwala THQ Hospital for medical examination where she later expired.
The letter said that a procession was staged demanding immediate arrest of Dr Sagheer Ahmed, the medical superintendent of Arifwala THQ Hospital, for patronising culprits. It was also alleged that the girl was killed with a poisonous injection, the letter said.
The surgeon medico-legal directed Dr Abdul Shakoor, the MS of the Pakpattan District Headquarter Hospital, Dr Sagheer Ahmad, the MS of the Arifwala THQ Hospital, Dr Saima Saba, WMO of the Arifwala THQ Hospital, and Dr Fouzia Tariq, the WMO of the Arifwala THQ hospital, to appear in the office of the surgeon medico-legal on April 27 along with a written reply, witnesses and all original record of the case.
According to the victim’s family, 13-year-old Kiran Amjed was kidnapped by Malik Usman, son of Malik Zafar, and two unidentified people from outside the Government Girls High School Arifwala on March 31. Kiran, a student of Class 8th had gone to the school to get her class 7 result.
Muhammad Amjed, father of the victim, said Malik Usman and two of his friends took Kiran some place where they gang raped her and she returned home at about 4pm. He said Kiran was very depressed and scared when she returned home and did not tell anyone about the gang rape. He said later Kiran narrated her ordeal to the family and he along with his brother took Kiran to local magistrate where she recorded her statement and they then went to Arifwala Tehsil Headquarter Hospital for her medical examination and treatment.
He said Kiran was admitted to hospital where one Ghulam Hussain, son of Muhammad Tufail, met the family and told them that he was an employee of the hospital and that he will take care of Kiran. He said Ghulam Hussain was not an employee of the hospital but was in fact a close friend of Malik Usman - something they learnt later.
Amjed, a blind man, stated that Ghulam Hussain asked the family to go home because no family member was allowed to stay in female ward of the hospital. He said he and his family members came home and next morning came to know that Kiran had expired in the hospital.
He said he learnt from hospital staffers that at night Kiran went to wash room and Ghulam Hussain followed her. He said on her return she started vomiting and died.
Muhammad Hanif, uncle of Kiran, said Ghulam Hussain injected Kiran with poison on the instruction of Usman. He alleged that local MNA Rana Zahid Hussain was also involved in the case because he was a close friend of Usman.
He also alleged that the medical superintendent of the hospital and other staffers of the hospital were also involved in Kiran’s murder. The family claimed that local police left several lacunas in the FIR because the accused were from an influential family of Arifwala and close aides of MNA Rana Zahid. They said police and the accused were trying to change the gang rape and murder case into an abortion case.
The family had also filed two writ petitions in the Lahore High Court seeking directions for police to arrest the nominated accused and to take action against the doctors and other medical staff of Arifwala Tehsil Headquarter Hospital.
In the petitions, he said that police did all this unlawful act at the behest of local MPA and MNA and were protecting the culprits to please local political figures. He said despite the nomination of the accused(s) in the FIR, the police was reluctant to arrest them. He said police had not recorded his correct version about the incident to safeguard the accused.
In another petition, Hanif said THQ MS Dr Saghir Ahmad and other employees of the hospital mishandled the case of Kiran and showed violence of criminal nature against the victim which resulted in her death.
He said the post mortem and medico legal reports were manipulated to favour the accused(s) under the influence of the local MPA and MNA. He prayed to the court to direct the Pakpattan DPO to register a criminal case against hospital authorities and to shift the investigation of the case out of Pakpattan district. Local MPA Dr Farrukh Javed told The News that police were trying to hush up the case because of the strong political background of the accused.
He said a major lacuna left in the FIR was that police wrote that the family suspected that Ghulam Rasool poisoned Kiran in the hospital whereas it should be read that Ghulam Rasool had poisoned Kiran. He said the word ‘suspicion’ will help the accused in the court of law.
Dr Farrukh said he has also taken up the case in the Chief Minister’s Complaint Cell so that culprits do not get away.
He said he has also given financial and legal assistance to the victim’s family because after the event majority of female students in Arifwala were feeling insecure. “I want girls to go to schools and colleges with full confidence and this will only happen if the accused get an exemplary punishment,” he said.
When asked whether Kiran was gang raped or died due to a mistreated abortion, Dr Javed said that she was just 13 years old and could not have relations with anyone with her own will. He said she was exploited due to any reason and died of septic shock and in his personal opinion that amounted to rape. He said Septic Shock was a serious medical condition caused by decreased tissue perfusion and oxygen delivery as a result of infection and sepsis, though the microbe may be systemic or localized to a particular site. It can cause multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (formerly known as multiple organ failure) and death, he said adding its most common victims were children and the elderly, as their immune systems could not deal with the infection as effectively as those of healthy adults.
On the other hand, Dr Sagheer, the MS of the Arifwala THQ Hospital, claimed that some individuals were politicising the issue because they did not get PML-N tickets in the previous elections. He said Kiran had relations with Usman and died due to a mistreated abortion. He also claimed that no poisonous injection was given to her in the hospital.
Asked as to why he and MNA Raza Zahid held a long meeting before Kiran’s body was handed over to her family, he said he was a good friend of Rana Zahid who came to the hospital to help the poor family. He said Rana Zahid’s rivals were politicising the issue and they were also against him (Dr Sagheer) because of his strong connections with the MNA.
When contacted, then Arifwala City Police Station SHO Nasir Ghumman said he did not leave any lacuna in the FIR. He said the FIR was written according to the statement of the complainant and was red loudly before the notables and victim’s family and they agreed over its contents. Asked that the complainant was an illiterate and uneducated person but on the FIR his signatures were in English, the SHO said that he was an educated person but now was lying to others about the signatures.
The News also tried to contact MNA Rana Zahid on his cell phone but he did not pick up the phone. The scribe also sent an SMS to the MNA but he did not reply.
A 7th grade student Kiran Amjad was kidnapped; gang raped and murdered two days later in the hospital by being injected with poison. The person who had kidnapped her and gang raped her was a MNA/MPA of PML-N – Malik Usman and his 2 other accomplices. He is being backed and supported by other MNA/MPA of PML-N Rana Zahid and Dr. Farooq Javed.