Father of slain girls under pressure to drop charges
By Malik Siraj Akbar
QUETTA: Devastated over the mysterious murder of two of his infant daughters in a single week, 35-year old bus driver Mohammad Ismail [The man in black with a red cap]is currently under intense pressure from some locally influential people to drop the murder charges against a sorcerer whom he holds responsible for both the murder cases.
Ismail, who lives in Sardar Abad locality in the outskirts of Quetta, says the head of his five-year old daughter Shakira Bibi was found four days after she went missing on January 24 from a deserted Kariz [underground water channel] in the neighborhood. However, the remaining body of the girl, who had been secretly beheaded, has still not been found. While, the family was trying to find the culprits who beheaded Shakira Bibi, another daughter of Ismail, the three-and-half-year old Sadia Bibi went missing. She was also killed instantly and her dead body thrown in the Kariz.
“It was raining on January 24th when my daughter Shakira Bibi, the 3rd of my children, went missing at around Magrib time,” Mohammad Ismail tells Daily Times. “We kept on looking for her in almost every house in the neighborhood but to no success.” As the hunt continued for Shakira for four regular days, some local children, who were playing in the neighborhood, found a shoe of Shakira.
Hence, Shah Jahan, 20, a cousin of Shakira, began to search for the missing girl inside the dark, narrow and dried Kariz. “After around one hour’s seach, my feet hit a human head. When I picked it up, it was Shakira’s head. The remaining part of her body was missing,” he said. Shah Jahan also found some pieces of clothes from the venue, a shoe of the slain young girl.
Though a case had been registered with Satellite Town police station on January 25th, one day after Shakira went missing, progress could only be made once Shakira’s family hired a trained dog from Okara in return of Rs. 95000. The dog helped to trace the murder suspects who turned out to be a witch-master.
The sorcerer, Yar Mohammad, had rented a house just next to the house of the slain sisters. Though he had rented the house for one year and paid Rs. 5000 in advance, the witch-master escaped from the area as soon as Shakira’s head was founded. A raid on the rented house showed a lot of burnt human bones, skulls, long female hair and human blood in bottles, eyewitnesses said.
“The sorcerer, who soon escaped to his original house in Master Colony in Faizabad area, was popular in the area and used to charge a lot of money from the people in return of issuing them taveez that assured the recipients of having children, jobs, success in love life and other mundane gains,” said Abdul Hameed, a local resident. According to Hameed, witch-masters use the human blood to take a bath to supposedly become pure. They write the taveez human blood and, in other cases, inscribe some magical codes on the human bones. Ironically, neither these sorcerer are trained from any certified religious school nor are they required under any law to register themselves with the State before practicing magical activities.
“This is a ruthless and unjustifiable practice. The sorcerer, apparently exempted from any law, resort to the most barbarian actions just to earn money,” informed Khurshid Ahmed Langov, the headmaster of a public school. He assumes that the sorcerer kidnap the small babies and murder them in order to benefit from their blood for their ‘evil objectives.’
In the second incident, when the family was mourning Shakira’s murder, another sister of hers, Sadia Bibi, 3, was too scared of the scenes at home. Therefore, she was taken to her maternal grandmother’s home from where she also went missing because of lack attention paid to her safety by the elders of the family.
While the family members had previously founded the head of Shakira from a Kariz, they did not face much trouble in finding the dead body of little Sadia from the same place.
The girls’ father, Mohammad Ismail, contends that he is “hundred percent sure” that his daughters had been killed by the witch-master, who has been taken into the police custody along with four other accomplices because three girls, in a similar instance some six years ago in Mastung district, were killed by a similar sorcerer in Mastung district. The suspected magician, sources said, is also related to the man who killed three girls in Mastung in the past and was later on given death penalty.
“I know I can not get my daughters back but I would like to appeal to the government to give death sentence to those who killed my daughters Shakira and Sadia. I am a poor bus driver and never had enmity with anyone. I seek justice for the other daughters of this country,” he pleads, adding that his remaining five children are currently in a state of utter disbelief and insecurity. Mohammad Ismail is also being constantly pressed to drop the case or ‘prepare to pay for dire consequences’.
Ismail urges the government to protect his remaining children.[See their photo below]
” Losing a child,” he adds, “is a very painful experience.”