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Samia murder: inquiry body collects record from Jhelum police

Samia murder: inquiry body collects record from Jhelum police

GUJRAT: The committee constituted by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to investigate the ‘honour killing’ of Samia Shahid, a British national of Pakistan origin, collected the record of the case from Jhelum police on Friday, Aqeel Abbas, station house officer of Mangla police station, told Dawn by telephone.

The case was being investigated by Jhelum Saddar Circle police before the chief minister set up the high-level committee to probe the murder.

According to her parents, Samia died of heart attack in Pandoori, her native village near the Mangla dam, on July 20. However, her second husband, Syed Mukhtar Kazim, lodged a murder case against her parents, a sister, a cousin and former husband.

Mr Kazim said Samia had married him against the will of her parents and that she had “embraced the Shia tradition of Islam” before the marriage.

The committee, constituted by Shahbaz Sharif, is headed by DIG Abu Bakar Khuda Bukhsh, the commandant of the Farooqabad police training centre, Sheikhupura. Other members are SSP Investigation Abdul Rab, the SP Investigation Jhelum and the SP Gujranwala.

Official sources said although the chief minister had included the Jhelum SP as third member of the inquiry team, the office had been vacant for long and it was not clear whether Jhelum DPO Mujahid Akbar Khan, who currently holds a dual charge of the investigation SP of the district, would be included as a member by the committee.

According to sources, Chaudhry Shakil, the former husband of the dead woman, had joined the police investigation by submitting his statement before the Mangla police. He claimed that Samia remained his wife until her death as she had “contracted the second marriage without getting divorce from me”.

Shakil, a first cousin of Samia’s, denied any role in the killing. However, the Mangla police SHO said that Shakil had only submitted the papers of his interim bail from the court of an additional sessions judge in Jhelum to the police and had not given any written statement.

Two other suspects in the case — Samia’s father Chaudhry Shahid and cousin Mobeen — had joined the police investigation on Wednesday and submitted their written statements, denying the charges of killing Samia.

The two other suspects — mother Imtiaz Bibi and sister Madiha Shahid — have yet to join the investigation as, sources said, the two women had returned to Pakistan from England just a few days ago.

Agencies add: An emotional Mukhtar Kazim presented at a press conference a copy of the post-mortem report into his wife’s death, which said the 28-year-old had marks on her neck, and suggested she had been strangled

Mr Kazim called upon the Pakistan and British governments to ensure his wife received justice.

“I request the British and Pakistan governments to conduct a fair trial,” he said at the press conference in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Kazim and Shahid, who was a dual British-Pakistani citizen, had been married for two years and were living in Dubai.

Kazim is Pakistani, a police officer said. Police had initially said that he too was British-Pakistani.

Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2016

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