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PFF rally demands arrest of doctors for Asmat’s rape and murder

By Our Correspondent
April 24, 2019

The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) on Tuesday held a protest rally in support of Asmat Khanrejo, who was drugged and raped during her visit to the Sindh Government Hospital Korangi No. 5 for a check-up last week.

The protest was led by PFF Chairperson Muhammad Ali Shah and Senior Vice-Chairperson Fatima Majid among others. A large number of people from the fisherfolk community participated in the demonstration.

The rally started from Benazir Chowk and proceeded towards the Eidgah Ground in the Ibrahim Hyderi neighbourhood. A complete shutter-down strike was also observed in the locality, as no business activities took place in the area.

Holding placards inscribed with slogans such as ‘Justice for Asmat’ and ‘Hang Rapist Doctors’, the protesters also shouted slogans against the provincial government, the police and the hospital’s doctors and other members of the staff.

Addressing the rally’s participants, the speakers said on the occasion that the fisherfolk community is already suffering from countless difficulties, adding that barbaric crimes like the rape and murder of Asmat, and that too at a state-run hospital, will add to their worries and miseries.

They said that three doctors and health aides are suspected of being involved in the horrible crime of drugging, gang-raping and murdering Asmat. Imagine the shock that Asmat’s tragic and violent death must have given to all those who cared for her and whom she cared for, they added.

The protesters said the local police have arrested three lower staff members who have been nominated in the FIR, but they have failed to arrest the doctors who were responsible for the gang rape of Asmat.

They said they stood in firm solidarity with Asmat’s family, and that she was one of them. They vowed that they would continue to stand for her until they get justice for her. They demanded that the police immediately arrest the doctors who are the prime suspects and responsible for this inhuman act. The case should be properly investigated by all relevant agencies, said the protesters.

A day earlier, Justice (retd) Majida Rizvi of the Sindh Human Rights Commission, the National Commission for Human Rights Sindh chapter’s Anis Haroon and activists of Aurat Haq, a women’s rights group, among others vowed to get justice for Asmat. They demanded the arrest of all suspects, a transparent investigation, a fair trial and severe punishments for all those involved in the woman’s rape and murder.

Addressing a news conference organised by Aurat Haq at the Karachi Press Club, they narrated the details of the inhuman act and said Asmat was raped by hospital staffers allegedly led by Dr Ayaz and joined by Dr Shakil.

They said they had learnt that Asmat had reported a case of sexual harassment against one of the doctors after they had worked together on a public health care project a year ago.