FC refuses to compensate minor girl's family -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

FC refuses to compensate minor girl’s family

By Usman Manzoor

ISLAMABAD: In a glaring example of getting cold feet, the Frontier Corps (FC) has refused to compensate the family of a seven-year-old girl, who had lost her leg because of firing by the FC a few months back in Peshawar.

The compensation was needed for the girls’ artificial limbs.

However, the additional sessions judge, Peshawar, has sent the station house officer (SHO) to jail for not registering an FIR against those who had deprived an innocent girl of her leg. Laiba Asim was going home, along with her family, in Hayatabad on November 25, 2009, when the FC personnel opened fire at their vehicle. As a result, the girl lost one of her legs. She was admitted to the Rehman Medical Institute, Hayatabad, Peshawar, where the FC high-ups visited the girl and left a bouquet and chocolates for her.

Later, on the demand of the family, the FC paid the bill of the hospital, worth Rs 391,565, vide check number 6095830 and asked the hospital administration to reimburse the advance paid by the family of the girl. The family said Laiba would need two artificial limbs every year with her growth until she attained the age of twenty-five and the family was not sound enough to bear those expenses, and asked the FC to do them a favour in this regard.

The FC inspector general paid lip service to them, but did not give anything in writing to the aggrieved family. On the insistence of the family to assure them in writing, the FC even started denying the entire incident and are now saying the FC had paid the expenses of the girl on humanitarian grounds and that no FC convoy passed through the road where the incident took place.

On the other hand, the additional sessions judge punished the SHO for not obeying the orders of the court. The order said “the conduct of the SHO had not only caused disobedience of the court order but also caused obstruction in the judicial function of the court, besides bringing disgrace to the courts in the eyes of the public.

“The conduct of the SHO concerned is clearly covered by explanation to Section 188, PPC, and squarely falls within the definition of the section. Therefore, this court is left with no other option but to order conviction under Section 188, PPC, of Hayatabad SHO Abid-ur-Rehman and award him punishment of one month imprisonment and Rs 200 fine in absentia. In default of fine, he should undergo five days imprisonment.”

Colonel Safdar, the Col Admin of the FC, told The News that according to internal inquiry, no FC vehicle passed through the route, which was being mentioned by the family of the girl on November 25, 2009. “We have paid the bill of Laiba on humanitarian grounds,” said the colonel, adding: “We also tried to sort out the future dues of the baby girl, but the family went to the court and to the media and now let the court to decide.” He said normally, the FC sent its patients to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), but in the case of Laiba, the treatment was provided at a private hospital and the bill was paid by the FC.

Col Safdar said neither the FC was threatening any lawyer, nor was pressing the police not to register an FIR, but the family was continuously blaming the FC for all what was going on. He said the NWFP was a war zone and compensation for martyrdom of an FC personnel was Rs 500,000 and they had paid a reasonable amount to Laiba’s family from the FC IG fund. But the family’s demand of providing artificial limbs in compensatin for the whole life was unjust, he added.
Source: The News
Date:3/3/2010