People at the event said Samina Sindhu was singing a song when Tariq Jatoi shot her thrice. Her husband says she had refused to dance because she was pregnant, which enraged Jatoi and he shot her.
The singer, who was pregnant with her first child, was taken to a nearby hospital. Doctors said she was dead on arrival.
Initially, the police described the shooting as an ‘accident’ and refused to register a case. However, after media reports, an FIR was registered on the orders of a senior police official. Jatoi was then arrested and the SHO was suspended for refusal to register an FIR.
The case was registered on behalf of her husband under Section 302 of Pakistan Penal Code.
Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial said he had ordered the police to register a case against the suspected shooter. “We have sent the murder weapon for forensic examination,” he said.
Javed Brohi, an officer-bearer of Sindh Fankaar Welfare Trust, demanded justice for the family. “Artists who spread happiness among the people are getting dead bodies in return,” he said.
Writer Amar Sindhu wrote on Facebook that Samina was killed at the aqeeqa ceremony of a court reader’s sons. “She was asked to stand and dance while singing,” Amar wrote. “She said she was eight months pregnant and it was difficult for her to stand.”
According to Amar, she was issued death threats. “She tried to get up when a bullet pierced through her body.”
The rights activist further wrote that she wants to curse those killers who try to cover their crimes by invoking their Sindhi ethnicity. “Even the educated civil society of Sindh complains of Urdu media’s prejudice when Shahrukh Jatoi is called a killer,” she wrote.
On February 3, a Mardan stage and drama artiste, Sumbal, was shot dead by three men in her house after she refused to come with them for a performance. In March, stage actor and dancer Sitara Baig said seven men raped her at a five star hotel in Lahore but the police wouldn’t register a case. Sitara and her sister, Kismat Baig, were considered among the highest paid stage dancers in Lahore. In 2015, unidentified men shot Kismat and her bodyguard, Ali. They were taken to a hospital, where Kismat breathed her last. Ali told the media that before opening fire, the attackers said, “We’ll hurt you so bad that you’ll never be able to dance again.”