Unpunished savagery??!?!

The gruesome incident of a husband chopping off his wife’s leg and then having the audacity to flaunt it for everyone to see is not only appalling but renders one incapable of putting the shock and outrage into proper words. Sadiq Bhatti carried out this barbaric act at his home and then accused her of having illicit relationships with other men. The wife has said that the accusations are totally baseless and she had only ever visited her parent’s home when her husband was in jail. The neighbours called the police when they heard violent screams coming from the house, but the police arrived at the scene two hours later. Although the man was taken into custody, it is the height of injustice that the Assistant Sub Inspector has already let the culprit off the hook by stating that no case could be registered against Sadiq because nobody was willing to be a complainant. What law is the Sub Inspector talking about? If he is talking about Section 154, Act V of Criminal Procedure Code 1898, whereby an FIR has to be launched by a private informant only, maybe he has overlooked the other law that gives a police officer the authority to launch an FIR himself.

Section 156, Act V of 1898’s sub-section (1) states: Any officer in charge of a Police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognisable case which a Court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such station would have power to inquire into or try under the provisions of Chapter XV relating to the place of inquiry or trial.

This sub-section is hardly known to the public because the police officers have made it a point to hide such information so that they do not have to register any case. Women who try to report rape, sexual assault or domestic violence are met by a police system that is highly incompetent, and sometimes outright abusive. Does the state bear no responsibility to protect its citizens and if it does, then are the women not included in the class of ‘citizen’?

This outrageous incident is just one of the horrific crimes committed against the hapless women of our country. Under Section 324 of the Penal Code, such crimes come under attempted murder and the punishment is up to 10 years but still, countless acid-throwers, limb-choppers and murderers are roaming the streets freely due to our inept justice system. These maniacs ruin the life of a woman by mutilating her or killing her, but are always left unscathed due to the norms of our social structure and the indifferent attitude of state officials. While the customs of our society have superseded the law by wrongly incorporating Islamic laws in the vengeful form of ‘qisas and deeyat’, the blame lies equally with the state which has given an official stamp to this law. The state lays the blame on our patriarchal, feudal, conservative society, but these are just ‘fine’ words being used for a system that is above the law. It is the responsibility of the state to deal with these sick-minded people, who are dangerous and a grave menace for society. These creatures should be put away for life, which could still be considered light punishment for the horrible act that they have committed.

This incident is a grave indictment of Pakistani society, which lets such incidents go unpunished because of sheer insensitivity, and the state that indirectly endorses them through a set of laws that have loopholes and give space to criminals to get away with such crimes.


BD said…
Changed blog name? May I ask why? :D
Rajat said…
hmmm, I am numbb. Just the other day, I was discussing freedom of speech in Pak with a friend and she was of the opinion that Pak is like taliban and I was vehemently opposing her views and sayins its not. hmmm, now I am a little more doubtful... anyway this is very sad to read.
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