Shila, 22, was killed and her death was declared an incident of suicide. She got "death sentence" from the community leaders because she had chatted with a guy who was from another sect and caste. There was a total blackout of this heinous crime in the media.
After Shila's chatting with that guy, the Taliban-like "moral brigade" of the village approached her father with their traditional cock and bull story. (One of the culprits is the same guy who tried to compel my family members to kill me—I'll write about it in my next blog).
"Your daughter has dishonored your family, our community and the entire valley," a local leader reportedly told Shila’s father. "Her existence in this world is a disgrace to all of us!"
"So what can I do?" the father asked in sheer helplessness.
"Do what is expected from a man with a sense of honor!" The leader pressed him to kill his poor daughter in the name of the so-called honor.
According to one of my classmates from the same village, it was an evening when Shila found her father moving here and there in the courtyard of their house. He was thinking the ways to kill his daughter but escape the long arm of the law. He was being forced to commit the crime to appease the angry bigwigs of the area.
Then the father gave Shila a piece of rope to hang herself for the sack of the family. Her tearful mother was totally helpless beating her chest in grief. Her father tried to make it easy for Shila by fixing the rope on a nearby tree-branch. She refused to hang herself and sought help from her mother. But she was too weak in the men's world.
Shila told her father that she was innocent but, unfortunately, the man was under immense pressure from the brutal community leaders who had threatened to boycott the family if the "stigma" was not removed from the society!
The father forced his daughter towards the gallows—controlling his emotions. "Give sacrifice for the sake of the family!"
Shila shouted for help but the whole village had become deaf and dumb.
"I'm innocent," she cried again before being hanged from the branch of an equal helpless tree.
After Shila's murder, the perpetrators made a fake story by saying: "Shila was depressed and committed suicide by hanging herself from the tree."
No postmortem was performed on her body as the so-called leaders said that it was “disgracing” the body of a woman in the society.
Shila's family members and villagers have not forgotten the heinous crime but they keep mum due to the terror of the powerful culprits. When I contacted some people in the village by phone (I’m living hundreds of kilometers away in Rawalpindi city after the attack on me in March this year), no one was ready to speak on the issue. “Don’t write anything about this case, they will kill you,” a relative feared.
Anyhow, Shila’s family pleased the society by killing her in a brutal way but her father is said to be in a miserable condition nowadays. Out of guilt, he has lost his senses!
Being a woman in our male-dominated society is really a very painful experience! And those women, who try to act like those brutal men, are a shame for humanity. I wonder if the government would order a judicial inquiry into the crime! A terrible story indeed! But, as my brother says, who cares for the laws and ethics mimicked as “intellectual snobbery” in our chaotic country.
(Impressions by The Terrorland Team)