A local court judge in Pakistan has reportedly declined to hold a judicial inquiry into the death of a Hindu dental student, who was found dead in her hostel room last week, despite being asked by the home department, according to a media report. Nimrita Chandni, a final-year student of Bibi Asifa Dental College in Sindh province's Larkana district and a social activist, was found lying on a cot by her friends on September 16 with a rope tied to her neck.
The Larkana district and sessions judge appeared reluctant to hold the judicial inquiry into the mysterious death of Chandni despite the request made by the home department on September 18, the Dawn newspaper reported. The Home secretary Abdul Kabeer Kazi, who is travelling abroad, has been informed by the police about the sessions judge's reluctance to initiate the inquiry. It did not identify the judge.
"We have learnt that the sessions judge has outright declined to hold the inquiry," the paper quoted a source as saying.
The source said that Kazi has told the Larkana police that the session judge was supposed to put it in writing if he was not willing to initiate the inquiry.
One objection on the part of the judge is that the home department has directly made the request to him (the sessions judge) whereas it's the Sindh High Court registrar to have issued such a directive to him, the paper reported.
"But even for that matter, no reply has officially been communicated either to the Larkana police or home department and it was the message that has been conveyed to the police," the report said.
The Larkana police, meanwhile, remained in a fix. Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Masood Bangash contacted Chandni's family and asked them to register a case against the Vice-chancellor of the University, the report said. "Neither the (bereaved) family is coming forward to lodge an FIR of the incident nor are the police ready to register a suicide case," the source was quoted as saying in the report.
The police have so far detained 32 suspects, including two classmates of the victim — Mehran Abro and Ali Shan Memon — after tracing the call data from the deceased's cell phone. The laptop of Chandni was also being analysed for possible clues, the report quoted police as saying. Abro during the interrogation has claimed that the victim was in love with him and he had declined to marry her, the paper said. A few days before the September 16 incident, she had talked to Professor Amar Lal about her issues, it said.
Chandni's room was locked from inside when the body was discovered. Police have not yet ascertained whether she committed suicide or was murdered. The girl hailed from Ghotki district, which recently witnessed riots after a school principal from the minority Hindu community was booked on charges of alleged blasphemy.
(With inputs from PTI)