RAWALPINDI - Unknown assailants launched a brazen armed attack on a 45-year-old woman in-charge of a polio team on July 14, 2014, injuring her critically when she left her home for catching a van of the health department to reach basic health unit in Kheri Moorat at Girja Road.

The woman, Shabana Malik, a resident of Cannt area, Misrial Road, sustained five bullet injuries in the back, near the neck and in abdomen and was shifted to the district headquarters hospital where doctors are trying to save her life.

However, the police registered a case of purse snatching and declared the firing on the woman as a result of resistance offered by her against the purse snatcher. But sources and eyewitnesses rebuffed the police investigation, saying no purse snatcher fires five bullets on any person on resistance. “It is a case of target killing of polio health workers,” the sources said.

According to Malik Fayyaz, the husband of the injured woman, Shabana left her house at 7:30am on July 14 to reach Kheri Moorat Basic Health Unit at Girja Road when two motorcyclists started indiscriminate firing on her. “My wife fell on ground as she sustained five bullet injuries in her back, near the neck and in abdomen,” Malik Fayyaz who is an army contractor said, adding that after committing the crime, the assailants managed to escape from the scene.

“Shabana was moving towards the stop when two motorcyclists came and one of them targeted Shabana and ran away,” Malik quoted an eyewitness as saying.

A police officer who enjoys good repute in the police department told this reporter on the condition of anonymity that the woman was not injured during a purse-snatching bid; rather it was an attack on the woman who was in charge of a polio team busy vaccinating children in Kheeri Moorat, a remote village.

He said Shabana is the in charge of polio team of Kheeri Moorat and the mother of five children. “I don’t know whether the police registered a case or not,” he said in response to a query.

RA Bazaar SHO Malik Riaz, when contacted, confirmed the incident of firing on the woman, but rejected the theory that Shabana was a polio team in charge. “She has been injured by two purse snatchers when she put resistance. She is simply a lady health visitor,” he said. He added a case has been registered against the unknown purse snatchers.

The CPO, SP Potohar and ASP Cannt were not available for their comments.