LAHORE - In a hot afternoon sitting outside the courtroom of Justice Syed Shahbaz Ali Rizvi, Rukhsana awaits the decision on a petition against the killer of her son.

Her weak face, with glistening eyes, indicates the grief embedded deep in her soul about the loss she looks unable to withstand anymore for last six years but she hasn’t lost hope.

“The court reader has asked me to come tomorrow or stay here for the decision,” Tanvir tells his mother Rukhsana, who had come all the way from Faisalabad to oppose the bail petition of the murder accused of her son.

The 55-year-old is penny less as such cannot afford to engage a lawyer to plead her case. They hardly afford the transport fare to reach the court and attend the proceedings on the bail petition of one of the accused. The court had summoned them to express their viewpoint but there was no one to represent them in the court.

After the proceedings, she came out of the courtroom and kept waiting for the decision. Finally she was told “the suspect has been allowed the bail”. As she heard she cried and fell on the ground. She was calling her son she had lost six years ago.

Rukhsana’s ordeal began in 2012 when a group of six killed her younger son Muhammad Qadeer, 19, at somewhere unknown far from her home in Sardar Kaloni, Malakpura of district Faisalabad. The suspects also took 11 tola Gold and Rs31,000 from their house.

Since then, the complainant could not see her son nor could get his body and remained unable to bury him with her own hands. She also approached the police to lodge an FIR against the suspects, claiming custody of her son’s body, but she could not get the body or get the FIR registered against the suspects.

“I couldn’t afford a lawyer so I appeared before the judge to object to the bail of the suspect,” the woman told The Nation while tears rolled down on her cheeks.

Rukhana has one son and two daughters, all handicapped, at the house. Another son, Tanvir Qaisar, is the only bread winner of the family who is a labourer and works at construction sites; while her husband Abdul Hameed died 13 years ago.

“My son and I paid Rs500 to come here from Faisalabad and will have to pay another Rs500 on our return,” she said while giving some money to her son to get copies of the FIR and other documents.

The Mansoorabad Police of Faisalabad district had lodged an FIR No. 898 under Section 365 of Pakistan Penal Code in 2014, two years after the incident. Later, the police, through memos, nominated six suspects including Altaf, Sami, Kashif, Usman, Rizwan and Luqman under charges of murder and dacoity. Rukhsana says the police, however, declared Usman and Rizwan as innocent while another suspect Sami has already been declared as innocent. Kashif, the fourth one, is proclaimed offender and fifth Altaf, who is the main suspect, is in jail for last four months while sixth suspect Luqman secured bail on Monday. “Police lodged FIR after two years of the incident, after my long efforts,” says Rukhsana adding that now the suspects, one by one, are being declared as “innocent”.

Contending her stance, she alleges police did not nominate them in the main FIR and also did not recover anything - even the dead body of her son - and now they are supporting suspects, because they are financially strong.

“I lost my son and everything,” she said. “They ruined my life but I m not sure that I could get justice.”

During the Monday’s proceedings, when she appeared before the court, Justice Rizvi asked her about her counsel. The women replied to the judge that she could not engage a counsel because she couldn’t afford the fee. At this, the court asked the law officer to represent her before the court.

The complainant also approached the complaint Cell of Inspector General of Police for help in her son’s case. She applied twice for this purpose but could not get any response.

Now again, she has applied for the third time, pleading the police chief to change the investigators of her son’s case.

In her application, she wrote “the incident was of 2012 but the FIR was lodged in 2014 and so far, I could not even get the dead body of my son. It is my geuine request that his dead body be recovered and the culprits be punished.” She puts her files in a plastic bag and left home saying: “What is to hope for justice when she is empty hands,”

 

 

FIDA HUSSNAIN