Fact-check: Murder of four girls after rape in Lyari is probably fake news

SAMAA TV investigates the rumors, speaks to families of the girls, police, doctors
Feb 06, 2023

A few days ago, a report started to do the rounds on social media that five young girls had been murdered after being raped in different areas of Lyari.

While four girls from Lyari had passed away, they were not raped, and neither were they murdered.

According to the report, five girls were brought to the Civil Hospital in Karachi in a span of just ten days. Three of those girls reportedly passed away during treatment.

However, the police did not register cases for any alleged crime, nor did they launch an inquiry, it was claimed.

Moreover, it was alleged that the Woman Medico-Legal Officer (WMLO) at the Lyari Hospital did not perform an autopsy on their corpses. Some others suggested that the girls were taken to the Civil Hospital.

This unconfirmed report spread fear amongst the residents of the city as citizens attempted to validate this information.

The murder of five girls after rape in 10 days in a specific area was indeed an eye-opener.

To verify this information, SAMAA TV conducted an investigation.

The allegations

The rumors claimed that all five girls were young and were under treatment at the Sindh Government Lyari General and Teaching Hospital (SGLG&TH), where they reportedly succumbed.

Later, their bodies were transported to the Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi for completion of legal formalities, but doctors did not conduct an autopsy which would have confirmed they were raped.

The alleged victims were identified as 14-year-old Mahnoor, the daughter of Ibraheem.

The second girl was 10-year-old Mahnoor, the daughter of Razzak. The third victim was three-year-old Zoya, the daughter of Abbas. The fourth victim was identified as two-year-old Khushi, the daughter of Angaro.

The name of the fifth girl (if there was a fifth victim) is not known.

Tracing the victims

To ascertain the circumstances of their deaths, SAMAA TV attempted to locate and speak to the heirs of the girls.

First child

Abbas, the father of three-year-old Zoya, was traced. He told SAMAA TV that he took his daughter to the doctor after she fell ill.

Initially, they took her to a nearby private healthcare facility to seek medical care.

Abbas said that after being provided initial care, Zoya felt better. But after a few days, her condition deteriorated again.

He took his daughter to the same health care center for further treatment.

But this time, he said, the doctor referred her to the SGLG&TH for treatment.

He added that the girl was shifted to SGLG&TH’s Children’s Emergency ward, where she died during treatment.

He added that at no point was there any suspicion of rape, nor was her death caused by non-natural means.

Second child

SAMAA TV also managed to get in touch with Rafaqat, the father of 10-year-old Mahnoor.

In a telephonic conversation, he told SAMAA TV that he took his daughter to SGLG&TH for treatment after she complained of fever and cough.

There, doctors admitted Mahnoor to the Children’s Emergency ward and kept her for three days.

Third child

Ibraheem*, the father of 14-year-old Mahnoor, told SAMAA TV that their daughter had complained of fever, cough and shortness of breath before they rushed her to SGLG&TH Children’s Emergency ward.

He confirmed Mahnoor was admitted to the hospital for treatment but was discharged after receiving treatment**.

Police inquiries

On whether the police probed the matter or not, SAMAA TV reached out to Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Shabbir Ahmed Sethar – who oversees the city district.

SSP Sethar said that he had, in fact, seen the rumors swirling on social media and set up an inquiry committee.

He explained that he appointed the SO Complaint Cell and Kalakot SDPO as inquiry officers (IOs) in the matter.

SSP Sethar said that the officers conducted their investigations, during which they met with the families of the girls. Later, they submitted their reports separately.

“According to their reports, neither their medical records nor their families suggest that their daughters were neither raped nor were they murdered,” he said.

Similarly, when approached, authorities at the civil hospital said that the bodies of the girls were brought to Dr Ruth KM Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi, but their families refused to conduct an autopsy.

Hence, they are unable to confirm or deny if the girls underwent any sort of trauma or assault prior to their deaths or if their deaths were naturally caused or not.

Based on this information and the testimonies of parents, it is fairly reasonable to say that the girls were not raped or murdered, and the rumors were just that, rumors.

This is not the first time that rumors of girls or women being raped and lack of action by the authorities have gone viral.

Last year, a rumor went viral that a woman who worked at a major firm was asked to stay behind and gang raped by the staff there and then her body was dumped by the roadside.

Watch the video report here

*EDITOR’s NOTE: *A previous version of this story carried some inaccuracies regarding parents of 14-year-old Mahnoor, which stated that Khushi was her mother. This is incorrect. Khushi was the name of a different victim.

** A previous version of this story carried some inaccuracies regarding the status of 14-year-old Mahnoor. She did not die, and instead is alive.

The errors and any misconception caused are regretted.


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