Ranipur Child Maid Murder: Prime Suspect's Wife Hina Shah Apprehended

Police say Hina surrendered voluntarily days after they had apprehended her father

Ranipur Child Maid Murder: Prime Suspect's Wife Hina Shah Apprehended

Over a month after a nine-year-old maid died under mysterious circumstances at the home of an influential religious figure in the Ranipur area of Sindh, the main suspect's wife was apprehended by police.

Khairpur police on Tuesday said they had succeeded in arresting Hina Shah, the wife of Asad Shah and a co-accused in the alleged rape and m murder of nine-year-old domestic maid Fatima Furriro. 

Hina had been wanted by the police for over a month but she had managed to evade arrest. But she reportedly surrendered herself to police, raising questions on police ability and desire to apprehend her.

In a media talk, Khairpur SSP Samiullah Soomro claimed that Hina surrendered to the police and has been moved to the Women's Police Station in Khairpur for detention.

"The co-accused will be produced before a special magistrate of the Anti-Terrorism Court tomorrow (Wednesday) in Khairpur," he added.

The district police chief stated that they had apprehended Hina's father, Fayyaz Shah, who is also wanted in the murder, had been arrested three days ago and that Fayyaz had convinced his daughter to give herself up. 

Lawyers deplore police approach to case

Meanwhile, a team of lawyers who are fighting the case on behalf of the victim's family deplored the approach adopted by the police towards the case.

They claimed that the police had failed to solve the case properly, noting that "key evidence"- the mobile phone of Asad Shah - remains inaccessible.

They further said that the investigation officer failed to seize the laptop of the accused, which could provide further clues and leads in the case. 

The nine-year-old girl was employed as domestic help at the Dastgir Haveli of Asad Shah Jilani, the Pir of Ranipur.

On August 13, reports emerged that the minor maid had been found dead under mysterious circumstances in their house. Subsequently, Asad used his influence to secure a fake medical certificate from the local hospital and rushed her burial. 

But Fatima's mother lodged an FIR, suspecting foul play and pointed to the deep bruises on her child's body before burial. Police subsequently raided the mansion, found videos recorded by the closed-circuit television cameras installed in the building, and recovered damning footage of the girl's final moments. 

Subsequently, Asad was arrested while the court ordered to exhume the girl's body and conduct an autopsy. The autopsy found that the girl had been subject to rape, sodomy and brutal torture and physical assault.

In the FIR, Asad Shah, his wife Hina Shah, father-in-law Fayyaz Shah and driver Imtiaz Meerasi were nominated.

The author is a practicing lawyer and freelance journalist. His areas of interest are cultural diversity and socio-political issues of Sindh.