Infant in prison fighting thalassaemia
By Waseem Ahmad Shah
PESHAWAR, May 30, 2005: An infant in the Peshawar central prison is suffering from thalassaemia and his mother is facing difficulty in continuing his treatment while she is in jail. The 10-month-old baby boy, Ijaz, is in the prison with her mother facing charges of drug pushing. He has three sisters.
During their stay in the prison since last month, he was taken to hospital twice for blood transfusion. But now the mother is finding it difficult to continue his treatment.
Accused Noor Bibi belongs to a poor family and her husband is unemployed. Her brothers also cannot help her continue the treatment. She is first-time offender.
Noor Bibi, 29, said she had been married to Amjid Ali a few years ago here at Saeedabad. When she gave birth to three daughters, she had to face hard times as her husband and in-laws taunted her for not giving birth to a boy, she said.
“I had to put up with these taunts for many years and finally I gave birth to Ijaz last year,” Ms Noor stated. “But the nature gave a tragic twist to my already miserable life as my son was suffering from a deadly disease.”
According to the accused, a group of drug traffickers had contacted her to take some drugs to Karachi for Rs5,000. “I was left with no other option, but to accept their offer as I could not see my son dying. He is very close to me and I can do anything for saving his life,” the woman added.
On April 30, 2005, she boarded a Karachi-bound passenger train. The officials of railway police on suspicion carried out her search and recovered 6.9kg of charas from her luggage.
“It is the responsibility of the government to provide free medical treatment to the baby and the judiciary should also adopt lenient view towards the woman on humanitarian grounds,” said advocate Noor Alam Khan, the chairman of the Voice of Prisoners, who has been contesting her case.
He stated that unfortunately under the Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997, an ordinary drug pusher and drug barons were treated alike and in majority of cases poor women and children had to suffer.
It is learnt that a few days, ago Peshawar District and Sessions Judge Shahjehan Akhundzada visited the central prison and came to know about the plight of the baby and his mother.
He summoned the SHO of Railway police station, Munawar Khan, and issued him directives to submit a charge sheet against her at the earliest.
The bail petition of the woman filed by the Voice of Prisoners is pending before the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Fazal Subhan Khan.