ISLAMABAD:The husband of the pregnant singer who was killed in Larkana, Ashiq Samoo, said he was sitting behind his wife when she was shot. According to him, SHO Liaquat Ali was also present at the event.
People at the event said Samina Sindhu was singing a song when 22-year-old Tariq Jatoi shot her thrice. The singer, who was pregnant with her first child, was taken to the Chandka Hospital. Doctors said she was dead on arrival.
Footage on social media shows how some men approach the stage on which the woman was seated and singing. The men can be seen throwing money at her and speaking to her. The woman continues singing and rises to stand. The shooting happens and she falls on the stage.
Tariq Jatoi, the main suspect accused of killing Samina Sindhu , was presented at a court. A seven-day physical custody of Jatoi was granted by the court.
Killed over refusal
Her husband told SAMAA that the couple had gone to perform at the aqeeqa ceremony of the sons of Niaz Junejo, the reader of a sessions court judge. They earned their living through such performances – Samina would sing and Ashiq would play the harmonium.
“Niaz asked my wife to stand while singing and also dance,” he said. “She was pregnant and said she couldn’t dance. She rose to stand up and continued singing. In the meantime, Niaz, who was inebriated, provoked his friend, Tariq Jatoi by saying that he just sat and watched while Samina refused his demand.”
According to Ashiq, Tariq opened fire then and a bullet pierced through her body. “Some of us took Samina to the hospital,” he said. “The police beat up the other musicians of our team who had been left behind and also snatched Rs35,000 from them.”
Under the police’s nose
Ashiq said the venue of event was right behind the Kanga police station.
“SHO Liaquat Ali, who had drunk so much that he wasn’t in his senses, was present at the event,” he said. “We sat in front of the SP’s office at 2am with the body as no one listened. The next day, we sat in front of the press club.” According to him, SSP Tanveer Tunio suspended the SHO only after media reports compelled the Sindh IG to take notice of the incident.
Initially, the Kanga 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 SSP Tanveer Tunio. 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 against Jatoi and two unidentified men. Jatoi will be presented before a court today (Thursday).
“I told them about Niaz Junejo while recording my statement,” said Ashiq. “But they didn’t include his name in the FIR.” According to him, even Tariq told the police about how Niaz provoked him but the police ignored the information due to his ‘strong backing’.
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.
Samina’s killing sparked reactions. The footage of the shooting went viral on social media as well.
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. APP/AFP