ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday severely criticised Punjab chief minister and inspector general of police for their indifference to the stoning of a married woman in Khanewal district.
A three-member bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry conducted suo motu hearing in the case of killing of a woman in the Kachcha Khu area of Khanewal. The chief justice asked what Punjab Police IG was up to for the last three days. He inquired whether the IGP was capable of being appointed anywhere else in the country. The CJ warned that if the remaining accused were not arrested, the court would recommend the IGP’s suspension, adding that how could the IGP have no knowledge of the murder of a mother of five.
He also questioned why the Punjab chief minister was unaware of the incident. The Punjab advocate general told the court that the conflict aroused when the stoned woman, Maryam, cut grass from an area. He said the punchayat or local council had called her to resolve the controversy, not to kill her. The AG said the husband of the deceased woman disappeared from the scene, but had now been recovered, while three people involved in the killing had also been arrested. The chief justice said the woman’s husband had only been recovered after the court raised the issue.
The AG told the court that the Punjab chief minister had taken notice of the matter and had ordered the arrest of the accused within 48 hours.Justice Jawad S Khwaja remarked that if the poor people’s grievances could not be taken up, they better be eliminated once for all. “No one hears the plight of the poor sitting in air-conditioned rooms”, he maintained. The chief justice said witness of the stoning incident, Sarfaraz, was also kidnapped to cover the crime. He said Punjab was a big province but its law and order was pitiable. The court also directed the authorities to present a detailed report about the crime-rate in Punjab. – PT