- Victim’s family appeals to CJP, LHC CJ for justice as accused is still on pre-arrest interim bail after stabbing girl 23 times
- Powerful lawyer-father of accused using pressure tactics, influence to threaten family of victim for ‘reconciliation’
Stabbed 23 times by the scion of an influential lawyer over two months ago outside a local hotel, a second year law student and her family are gradually beginning to lose hope for justice as the family of her powerful attacker have successfully kept him out of the reach of the ‘long arms of the law’ since the day of the attack, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Khadija Siddiqui, a law student at a local college, was stabbed multiple times in broad daylight on May 2, by 20-year-old Shah Hussain when she had gone to collect her younger sister from the Convent of Jesus and Mary school on Durand Road.
According to police officials, CCTV footage from the hotel clearly showed Hussain, who was wearing a helmet, attacking Khadija with a butcher’s knife. The attacker was recognized when the girl’s driver intervened and his helmet fell off his head. However, he fled the scene unchallenged. The driver then rushed the young girl to the Services Hospital where doctors spent eight hours to save her life.
An FIR was registered with the Civil Lines Police Station on May 3, but the accused Shah Hussain succeeded in getting a pre-arrest interim bail from the sessions court through his lawyer Aftab Ahmad Bajwa.
According to Khadija’s family, on the second hearing on May 26, Bajwa along with his fellow lawyers allegedly resorted to threats and intimidation of the prosecution counsel, Izhar Ahmad who later on expressed his inability to represent the victim.
”We then hired another counsel but the case got delayed on several dates due to non-appearance of the accused’s counsel. After several other delays on part of the accused and his counsel, the father of the accused, Tanvir Hashmi along with 20 to 30 other lawyers hurled abuses and threats at our lawyer on the court premises and eventually succeeded in getting an adjournment from the court,” a family member of the victim told Pakistan Today on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal from the accused party.
The source said that Shah Hussain had been friends with Khadija for some time since they were classmates but she had started avoiding him because of his increasingly violent behavior.
“Shah Hussain started threatening Khadija when she stopped talking to him. She thought he would eventually stop harassing her after some time, but she was wrong. The accused carried out the attack because he knew he could get away with it,” said the family member.
He said the family had been running pillar to post for justice but the accused had successfully evaded arrest due to the lawyers’ pressure.
“Tanvir Hashmi is not only harassing the judge and opposing counsel, he is also forcing us for reconciliation so that the case against his son can be dropped. Is there anyone who can give justice to Khadija?”
The family member said that the lawyers helped the accused evade arrest when his bail plea was cancelled by the session judge after nearly two months. The accused has now obtained pre-arrest bail from the Lahore High Court. “Will the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and the Lahore High Court take notice of the travesty of justice being meted out to an innocent girl, who nearly lost her life in the attack, even though the police have undeniable evidence against Shah Hussain,” he said.
Pakistan Today made attempts to contact Tanvir Hashmi Advocate and Aftab Bajwa Adovate for their comments on the victim’s family’s charge but they were unavailable.