14-yr-old Kari returns from the 'dead' after being shot 5 times -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

14-yr-old Kari returns from the ‘dead’ after being shot 5 times

KARACHI, April 25 2006: Fourteen-year-old Noor Jehan has no regal airs despite her name, but for anyone who listens to her story, it will immediately become clear that she has risen like a phoenix from the flames after being shot five times and left for dead in a ditch near Baqai hospital.

The Gadap police had Noor Jehan admitted to Ward No. 26 at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre on Monday April 17 after she underwent initial treatment for her gunshot wounds at Baqai hospital. She was shot in the arm, both legs and the stomach as a result of which her limbs were fractured and part of her intestine had to be removed. Amazingly, however, she was alert and lucid and extremely particular about the details of her experience with death.

Noor Jehan claims that she was shot point blank by her revolver-wielding paternal cousins – Khadim and Sajjan – both in their mid-thirties or forties. She said that they had brought her to a jungle in the New Karachi area where they wanted to finish her off. Once shot, she fell into a ditch they were standing near and the men checked if she was dead. “We’ve shot her five times, she should be dead,” she reported them as saying. “They thought I was dead.” Then, they sped away in their Datsun. Noor Jehan dragged herself out of the ditch and all the way to the road where a nearby chowkidar called the police and helped her. “We know she dragged herself because there was a trail of blood all the way back,” said Gadap constable Naseer Ahmed, who accompanied Noor Jehan to JPMC with a female razakar as part of police protection. No female police officer accompanied her.

According to Noor Jehan, Khadim and Sajjan tried to kill her after declaring her a Kari. “We’ve killed the Karo, so what makes you think we will spare you,” she recalls them as saying to her. The case developed in Ratodero where Noor Jehan lived with her father Jamal, mother Sharifa, 10-year-old sister Shahida and three brothers Irfan, 4, Imran, three and Amer, one. Noor Jehan said that she helped her father who worked on the lands of a zamindar named Ghulam Brohi. Brohi used to visit their house a lot, which apparently her cousins Khadim and Sajjan objected to two months ago.

“They killed Ghulam Brohi and my father presented them a Quran following which we fled the village,” Noor Jehan claimed. On April 18, the family fled to a Ramzan Brohi who ran a cattle pen in New Karachi where they stayed for three days. According to Noor Jehan, Khadim and Sajjan, who she says, are common dacoits, found them and separated the family. They blindfolded her and took her away to a deserted place and now she does not know where her family is.

According to Noor Jehan, she knew since childhood what Karo Kari is. “When I became slightly aware of the world around me I found out that my aunt and cousin had been killed in Karo Kari also,” she said.

What is particularly striking about Noor Jehan is that she is very forthright about what she says happened to her. She bears none of the marks of a ‘victim’, she did not appear weepy, hysterical or upset when questioned in detail about her shooting. “How do you think it feels to be shot,” she retorted when asked the rather obvious question. Noor JehanÂ’s attitude defies definition. But this much is clear that she is a survivor.

Aside from the ordeal she went through with her assailants, Noor Jehan also had a hard time when she was brought to JPMC. One ward discharged her and she went back and forth to several departments until a senior administrator intervened and had her placed in ward No. 26. “Just don’t make me go home,” she said. “I am the government’s responsibility now.” The Gadap investigation police said that they had tried to contact the family in Ratodero to no avail. They said that any decisions will only be made after her treatment is completed. An FIR has been lodged against unidentified men.
Source: Daily Times