Key Suspect In Fatima Fariro Rape, Murder Case Gets Closer To Securing Bail

Four key witnesses have submitted affidavits in court stating they would have no objections if a key suspect is granted bail, say police have yet to summon them to record their statement

Key Suspect In Fatima Fariro Rape, Murder Case Gets Closer To Securing Bail

A key suspect in the alleged rape and murder of a nine-year-old maid at the house of an influential personality of central Sindh has moved closer to securing release on bail after witnesses submitted statements to the court.

Four key witnesses in the case, including Naeem Ahmed, Sageer Ahmed, Muhammad Hassan, Sania, and Ujalam, have submitted affidavits in the anti-terrorism court hearing the case stating that they would have no objection to bail being granted to Hina Shah, a key suspect in the case.

Hina Shah is the wife of Asad Shah Jeelani, the prime suspect in the case. She was arrested in September 2023 after the Sindh High Court cancelled her bail.

The affidavit submitted by the four witnesses reads that they had no objection to the court granting bail to Hina Shah, who police say is among the abettors of the offence. Other alleged abettors of the crime include Hina's father, Fayaz Shah, and their employee Imtiaz Mirasi.

In their affidavits, the witnesses stated that the police have yet to summon them to record their statement under Sections 161 and 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The statements are crucial for the prosecution of crimes. 

The witnesses further stated that they were under no coercion to file the affidavit.

Meanwhile, the judge of the special Anti-Terrorism Court hearing the case has adjourned it until May 3. This is in the wake of a stay granted by the Sindh High Court after a sub-inspector, one of the accused, filed a petition seeking exoneration in the case.

The nine-year-old housemaid Fatima was found dead under mysterious circumstances on August 13, 2023, in the mansion of Syed Asad Shah Jeelani in the Ranipur taluka of Khairpur district. Initial reports had claimed she had been killed while marks of torture were found on her body. Video recorded by the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the mansion added to the mystery of the child's death while spotlighting the poor conditions under which several child maids at the mansion were kept and treated.

She was later buried without her body being subjected to a post-mortem examination due to alleged connivance of local police. Her body was later exhumed, and an autopsy was conducted. Based on the autopsy, the police said that she had been raped before she died.

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