Friday, January 06, 2017

Whereabouts of 'tortured' Tayyaba remain unknown

ISLAMABAD: The whereabouts of Tayyaba, the ten-year-old maid allegedly tortured while working at the residence of Additional Sessions Judge Raja Khurram, remain unknown.

The Supreme Court resumed hearing to the suo moto case pertaining to the alleged torture with Chief Justice Saqib Nisar stating that Tayyaba was our daughter.

During proceedings, Advocate General Islamabad said Tayyaba could not be found. He added that a medical board comprising doctors from PIMS had been constituted to carry out Tayyaba’s medical examination.

After hearing this, Justice Saqib Nisar asked if the child was not present, how could the medical examination take place. He said Tayyaba should be found and be presented before the court. 

The chief justice directed police to use modern methods of investigation to complete the probe by Wednesday and present its findings. He remarked that pictures of the child appeared in newspapers and television. 

Earlier, two people claiming to be the parents of Tayyaba arrived at the Supreme Court.  The two were identified as Zafar and Farzana, residents of Faisalabad.

Speaking to Geo News, Zafar said Tayyaba had been employed at a residence in Faisalabad for an income of Rs 34,000 annually. "Later the owner of the mansion told me that Tayyaba had been sent to Islamabad. When I asked her again (owner), she said Tayyaba was lost," Zafar said.  

According to Zafar, Tayyaba was his daughter who had gone missing one and a half years ago. 

Another woman from Faisalabad, Kausar Bibi has claimed Tayyaba is her daughter. Kausar Bibi said Tayyaba's real name is Sana and she had gone missing over a year ago. 

Their DNA tests were conducted at PIMS hospital. Reports of the test will be available in a week.

Read: Where is Tayyaba? 

Police begins search for Tayyaba

Islamabad police reached Faisalabad city in search of Tayyaba, where they interrogated a woman named Nadra who had given Tayyaba to the judge's family in Islamabad.

According to the neighbours, police detained Nadra's son Anwar. Intelligence agencies have already interrogated Tayyaba's family and people in the neighbourhood. 

Tayyaba has mysteriously disappeared along with her father after an out-of-court settlement took place between the two families.

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar had taken suo moto notice of the case after the matter was settled out of court earlier this week.

The case of the alleged torture of the child maid caught the media’s attention after she was recovered from the residence of Additional Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan.  

The minor girl, whose face and hands bore torture marks, had initially denied being hurt by her employers. She told the police that she got a wound to her eye after falling from the stairs, while her hand was also burnt accidentally.

However, the poor girl narrated her ordeal after being politely inquired by a female magistrate later. She stated before the magistrate that she was beaten and her hand was burnt on the stove for losing the broom.

Interior Ministry springs into action

According to Interior Ministry sources, NADRA has been directed to investigate the couple claiming to be the parents of Tayyaba.

NADRA has obtained pictures of this couple and these will be used to trace their family tree, sources further said.

Petition submitted 

Six human rights activists from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar moved a joint constitutional petition in the Supreme Court on Thursday requesting it to take disciplinary action against Additional Sessions Judge Islamabad Raja Khurram who violated the law by employing a minor Tayyaba and torturing her.

The Human Rights activists filed the petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution through senior lawyer Asma Jehangir, making Additional Sessions Judge Islamabad, Raja Khurram Ali Khan, his wife Maheen Zafar, ASJ Atta Rabbani and Interior Ministry as respondents.

They informed the court that Human Rights Ministry and Benazir Bhutto Crisis Center, which had received information from neighbours and domestic helper in neighborhood, an FIR was lodged by I-9 Police Station regarding the illegal confinement and torture on minor Tayyaba.


—Additional reporting by Hammad Ahmad, Amina Amir and Awais Yousafzai