Home Latest News Autopsy of 9-Year-Old Maid Confirms Torture, Suggests Sexual Assault

Autopsy of 9-Year-Old Maid Confirms Torture, Suggests Sexual Assault

Police say DNA samples of suspects have been collected for further investigation, as employer Pir Asad Shah remains in custody

by Staff Report

Photo released by police of suspect Pir Asad in custody

A medical board formed to exhume and conduct a postmortem analysis of the body of a nine-year-old maid who died under mysterious circumstances in Sindh’s Khairpur on Sunday concluded that she suffered significant physical torture and may have been sexually assaulted.

The deceased girl was employed as a domestic maid at a haveli owned by Pir Asad Shah Jeelani, a local influential, in Khairpur’s Ranipur area. The employer was taken into custody after the maid’s family demanded action for her death, with her mother telling media her daughter’s body showed signs of torture. The case filed against Shah, and members of his family as well as a doctor and a police official, has been registered under sections 302 (intentional murder) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the medical report—compiled by Dr. Aqeel Ahmed Qureshi, Dr. Amanullah Bhangwar, Dr. Jawaid Ahmed Qureshi, Dr. Sultan Rajpar and Dr. Yasmeen Jokhio, with the assistance of Dr. Waqar Ahmad Shaikh and Dr. Summaiya Syed—the girl’s body was in an advanced stage of decomposition “with bluish discoloration on the right side of the face and forehead, and greenish mottled discoloration over the left side of the face, neck and shoulder.” It said her abdomen was distended while her hands, feet and knees were “blackish with wrinkled skin.”

Detailing her injuries, the report said the victim had bruises over the right side of her forehead and both eyes, adding there was also bruising on her right upper chest and back, as well as the front side of both her arms and forearms. The report made it clear all injuries were inflicted prior to her death, and also noted that vaginal and anal examinations were “suggestive” of vaginal and anal penetration, indicating sexual assault. It said samples had been collected for laboratory analyses to accurately determine the sexual assault allegations.

Speaking with media after the medical report was compiled, Khairpur Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Mir Rohal Khan Khoso said the primary accused—Jeelani—had been brought to GIMS Hospital Khairpur for a DNA test. Additionally, he said, the DNA samples of four others working at Jeelani’s haveli had also been collected.

Clarifying that the haveli had not been sealed by police, he said personnel had been deployed there to ensure all relevant evidence could be collected. To a question, he said he would rescue all employees that claimed they were being held hostage by the Jeelani family. Confirming that the medical report suggested sexual assault, he said this would be confirmed in the final post-mortem report.

He also made it clear that a suspended SHO, who allegedly did not take any action when the girl was first brought to hospital, as well as the treating physician and compounder would be taken into remand for further investigations. They could be charged, he said, with distorting facts and burying the girl’s body without a postmortem analysis.

The case

The case drew mass outrage after videos of a girl bearing torture marks went viral on social media. The video shows an apparently seriously injured girl struggling to sit up before she collapses. Initially, the girl’s father said he had been told she died due to a stomach-related ailment, which was diagnosed by doctors when she was taken to a private hospital on Aug. 14, after being discharged.

Following the public outrage, however, police took notice and Sukkur Counterterrorism Department Deputy Superintendent of Police Abdul Qudoos Kalwar met the girl’s parents. Subsequently, on Aug. 17, Khairpur police arrested the key suspect, who was then remanded into police custody for four days. Her mother then told media her daughter’s body had borne several marks of torture. Testimony from other maids employed at the haveli then also emerged, with them all alleging that the family would often subject them to torture.

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