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DNA report sought in Dr Maha rape, manslaughter case

Our Correspondent
Sunday, Oct 10, 2021

A sessions judge on Saturday directed the investigating officer of the Dr Maha Shah rape and suicide case to submit the chemical analysis report of the victim and the two main suspects to the court.

Twenty-four-year-old Dr Maha had allegedly committed suicide by shooting herself with a borrowed pistol inside her home in the upmarket DHA neighbourhood on August 18, 2020 over sexual and drug abuse.

In August 2021, Additional District & Sessions Judge-III (South) Ashraf Hussain Khowaja indicted the victim’s former boyfriend Junaid Khan, his friend Waqas Hasan, and her friends Saad Nasir and Tabish Yasin on rape and manslaughter charges.

On Saturday, all the four accused, who are on bail, appeared in court. The victim’s father Asif Ali Shah, who had lodged the FIR against his daughter’s friends for causing her suicide, was also present.

The hearing had been scheduled to record the father’s statement, but Khan’s attorney objected to the proceedings, arguing that until the arrival of the chemical analysis report of the victim and his client, the court should adjourn the matter.

The judge allowed the plea by the defence lawyer and put off the recording of the father’s statement until November 6, directing the IO to submit the chemical analysis report in court before the next hearing so that the case could proceed forward.

In the previous hearing, the IO had told the court that Khan’s and Hasan’s DNA samples had been collected on August 26 and sent to the Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences for cross-matching with the DNA sample of the victim.

According to the charge sheet, Khan and Hasan had raped Dr Maha and caused the disappearance of the evidence to save their skins, while Nasir and Yasin had provided her with an illegal weapon, with which she had ended her life.

Police had listed 38 witnesses, including the victim’s family members, the judicial magistrate who had supervised the exhumation of Dr Maha’s body for a second post-mortem examination on the court’s order, and members of the medical board.

Police had mentioned in the charge sheet that Khan and Hasan used to torture her mentally and physically, due to which she was suffering from severe anguish and had tried to commit suicide before as well.

The charge sheet read that it was suspected that the victim was also subjected to rape by the two accused, but they were not getting their DNA tests despite being issued with notices five times. A supplementary charge sheet will be filed after getting the DNA reports of the accused, stated the charge sheet.

The report said that the licence of the 9mm pistol used to commit suicide was issued to Nasir, who illegally sold the weapon to Yasin, who later gave it to Dr Maha, who then used it to kill herself.

The report also said that the victim was addicted to drugs, which she used to procure from peddlers identified as Anmol (alias Pinky), Nasir Baloch, Munir, Saadullah, Jamaat Ali and Bilal. They were charged separately. Police exonerated Dr Irfan Qureshi, another friend of Dr Maha’s, as no evidence was found against him.

The court had taken cognisance of the offence under sections 376 (punishment for rape), 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.