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Saturday, June 3, 2023

Diya Bheel murder & mutilation: Her family says Pakistan Police used torture to extract confessions from them

On December 27, 2022, Diya (aka Daya) Bheel, a 44-year-old Hindu widow and mother of 5 was allegedly raped and then murdered in the most brutal manner – her decapitated head was deskinned, breasts were chopped off and skin removed from other sensitive parts of the body. Her mutilated, half naked body was discovered in a field half a kilometre from her home in Sinjhoro, a small city in district Sanghar, Sindh, Pakistan. The police didn’t lodge the First Information Report ( FIR) until the case went viral on social media.

FIR of Daya Bheel murder case

The case was registered under the sections of terrorism and murder. In initials reports, Diya’s family had no idea who was involved in her vicious murder. Her son Soomar Bheel told that he was working in the sugarcane fields for the local landlord, while his mother and little sister were collecting grass for animal fodder. Diya sent her daughter home with some grass and continued cutting more.

Daya Bheel’s dead body (Image source: Gulam Abbas shah)

When Diya didn’t return, her family searched for her and found her mutilated body in the fields. They suspected that she might have been raped and killed elsewhere, and her body was placed in the field afterwards.

Pakistan Police ‘investigation’

Family of Diya Bheel protested against police inaction. In the above news video clip, they told reporters that police are diverting the case and instead of tracing and arresting real culprits, they are just arresting and torturing our relatives to extract a confession.

They took Daya’s nephew, Raja, aged 13, and subjected him to torture, trying to extract a confession of his involvement in the murder, the family says.

“The police were forcibly hitting me because of the torture; my ear started bleeding,” Raja told The Rise News. “Even they gave me electric shocks.”

Police asked him to accept that he was involved in the murder of his aunt. “Tell me, is it possible? How could I be involved? Will you [asking reporter] be involved in your Masi’s [Aunt] killing?”

Rise News’ coverage of Daya Bheel’s murder

Case ‘solved’?

On January 7, Sanghar Police claimed in a press conference that they have ‘solved’ the murder, and have arrested 4 men, including two alleged black magic practitioners and Diya Bheel’s brother Diya Ram. They claimed that the main suspect, Ropoo Bheel, has ‘confessed’ to the crime.

“There was a breakthrough in the case when one of the defendants confessed to the murder,” DIG Yunus Chandio told in the press conference. “There were doubts about him from the day one.”

Alleged black magic practitioners Ropoo Bheel, Loneo Bheel, Sajan Bheel, and the victim’s brother Diya Ram were the four men arrested, with police claiming they have given confessional statements.

“He [Roopo Bheel] used to be a resident of that area earlier. Then he moved to another place, 15 to 20 kilometres away, three to four years ago,” Chandio said. Bheel was first detained based on suspicion but he was released. When he was arrested again and interrogated, he ‘coughed up everything’, including the names of his accomplices who were arrested, the police said.

SSP Bashir Ahmed Brohi press breading (Image source SSP Bashir Brohi twitter )
Police addressing press briefing (Image source SSP Bashir Brohi twitter )

Black magic was the purpose behind the grisly murder, claimed the police. A proper investigation would follow as soon as DNA results from forensic labs arrive and digital data is gathered, they said. A comb of a woman led the police to the suspects. Police found hair believed to have been cut from Diya’s body, a knife, and a blade on the basis of information they gleaned from a suspect from a nearby area.

“We made as many as 100 suspects part of the investigation and took DNA samples of 42 people who were the suspects. We collected samples from nails, clothes, and many other objects,” Sanghar SSP Bashir Ahmed Brohi said.

The prime suspect said that after killing Diya Bheel they hid body parts in a close-by area. However, police investigators did not find Diya Bheel’s body parts and the skin that was removed from her head and face. “Animals might have taken the skin,” said Brohi. The SSP said that the knife, blade, and the woman’s comb had been sent for forensic examination.

Interestingly, DIG Chandio made it a point to explicitly debunk Indian media reports about Diya’s murder, stating that she was not targeted because of her religion. 

“I don’t know what has happened,” Soomar Bheel, the son of the victim told Aaj News as he reacted to the police press conference. Diya’s husband died a year ago. She had four daughters, out of which three have been married. Soomar is her only son.

No DNA match

After three months, a DNA report was submitted, which stated that no DNA match was found among the suspects, reports The Rise News. The 42 suspects’ DNA samples that were collected did not match Diya’s clothes and other items. The police refused to share the report with media, but The Rise News managed to obtain it.

Yet, despite their DNA not matching with the evidence collected from the crime scene, Diya’s family members are still in jail despite the them complaining about unfair behavior of the local police. Crucially, The Rise News says that a local influential person on whose land Diya and her family worked (remember Soomar had said that he had gone to cut sugarcane for the local landlord on the day his mother was killed) and his associates’ DNA samples were not gathered even though he was seen instructing the police whom to arrest.

Is it possible that due to the international media coverage of this brutal murder, police was desperate to show that the murder was not done by a Muslim; hence, they decided to implicate family members from the outset?

Diya’s family has continued their demand for justice, and is still asking the police to find the real killers. Diya’s grandson made a heart-rending appeal to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the scion of the PPP party which is currently ruling Sindh, to find the real killers of his dadi (grandmother).

(Video archived here)

If such a murder of a minority community woman had occurred in Bharat, Western governments, human rights bodies, UN, American orgs like USCIRF and international media would have been all over the case and demanded answers from the Modi govt. However, Pakistan has a free pass because of Abrahamic brotherhood and its geostrategic importance for the West – so this shoddy investigation by Pakistan Police is not being questioned.

Pakistani Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan should expect no meaningful help from the international ‘rule-based’ order. It is up to Hindus and other Dharmics across the world to come to their aid, and do whatever we can to help these beleaguered and persecuted people.

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