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    Bamyan girl’s murder sparks protest

    BAMYAN CITY (PAN): Hundreds of youth and civil society activists on Wednesday staged a protest against a provincial council member for murdering a young girl in central Bamyan province.

    Sixteen-year-old Shakila was shot dead on Feb. 6 this year in the house of provincial council member Syed Wahidi Behishti in Bamyan City. A forensic department report showed Shakila was shot dead after being raped.

    Later, prosecutors detained the victim’s brother-in-law Qurban, who worked as a guard for Behishti in connection with murder, after tracing his fingerprints on the gun that was recovered from the crime scene.

    But two months ago, the primary court freed Qurban on bail after he presented five witnesses to prove he was not present at the scene when the murder took place.

    More than 100 women participants of the protest demanded Behishti’s arrest and termination of the prosecution department head.

    Protestors chanted “shame on the attorney, shame on incompetent officials, criminals should be punished”. They urged the government to appoint a delegation to investigate the case.

    “We want Shakila’s killer detained and brought to justice,” protestor Mohammad Daud Sadaqat told Pajhwok Afghan News. “If our demand is not met, our protests will spread to Kabul,” he warned.

    They would ask the Attorney General Office why Shakila’s murderer had not been detained in the last eight months and why powerful people should not be punished, he added.

    Behishti should be punished because Shakila was killed inside his house while his wife and nephew were present, alleged another activist, Abdullah Barat.

    All prosecutors believed the provincial council member should be detained, but the chief prosecutor was acting like a defence lawyer for office Behishti, he added.

    At the end of the protest, participants read out a declaration that said: “We seek justice from courts and the prosecution office. The prosecution office head be terminated. The AGO and Supreme Court should send a team to Bamyan to investigate the murder.”

    But the chief prosecutor, Syed Ahmad Yaar, insisted his office was properly handling the case and. No one was unduly supported or opposed, he claimed.

    Meanwhile, the primary court said during the murder, Behishti, his wife and nephew were in the house, so the attorney’s office was instructed to question them.

    “Syed Wahidi Behishti is the killer of my sister. He should be arrested and punished,” said the victim’s brother, Mohammad Alam.



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