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SU probe committee fails to point out circumstances leading to Naila Rind’s death

HYDERABAD: The committee formed by Sindh University to probe the mysterious death of Naila Rind failed to point out the circumstances that led to the student’s death but quoted her friends as saying ‘she was under stress after having done her masters as she feared she would be asked to marry and abandon her dream of pursuing PhD studies’.

Sources in the university disclosed to Dawn on Thursday that the committee had submitted its report to the SU registrar on Wednesday, which skirted around the death and merely pointed out ‘flaws’ in the security and management of girls’ hostel.

Naila Rind, a final-year student of the Sindhi department, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her room at Marvi hostel 12 days ago.
‘She feared she would have to abandon her dream of pursuing PhD studies for marriage’

Some members of the committee, who wished not to be named, agreed to share the report over phone. “It [the circumstances leading to Naila’s death] was basically not our mandate nor had we any access to anything that might have helped us find clues to her death,” said a member of the committee.

He confirmed the report had been submitted to SU registrar who himself did not confirm or deny its submission. The committee did not have post-mortem reports, mobile phone, registers of the hostel and they did not have access to her room where the body was found. “From day one we had made it clear the committee will not venture into the criminal investigation which is police’s domain,” he said.

The committee strongly proposed a number of measures including automation of hostel’s record on students’ stay to improve hostel management system and security.

“Introduction of biometric system is one of the key recommendations made by us besides automation of record so that the SU could get rid of maintaining registers about entry and exit of hosteller(s),” said another member.

However, the committee did speak to some friends of Naila Rind. “Her circle of friends was limited. We could interview only a few girls who were of the view that Naila had started taking pressure [due to] the fact that since she had done her masters her family will now ask her for marriage and she won’t be able to pursue her PhD or MPhil studies,” said a member.

But, he added, the committee could not corroborate their statements after talking to Naila’s parents. “The situation in the wake of Naila’s death did not permit us to press the parents for recording their formal statements when they came to Jamshoro to receive her body,” said the member.

He said that her friends told the committee that Naila had been doing well until her third semester. “They said after the final year, the stress with regard to marriage made itself felt in her informal interaction with the friends,” he said.

He said that Naila feared that after the marriage she would not be able to pursue her dream of PhD and MPhil studies because she would be at the mercy of her spouse and did not know whether he would permit her to continue studies or not.

The inquiry team noted with concern the practice of final-year students’ stay in hostel during official vacations. “They should not be allowed to stay after vacations as it is unusual and should be seriously looked into by SU administration,” he said.

“Technically, she was a final-year student and was not supposed to continue to live in the hostel but her stay was not illegal either because she was preparing her monograph to be submitted to the Sindhi department,” said a member. He said the university must introduce biometric system of attendance and install CCTV cameras in the girls’ hostel.

The committee had recorded statements and interviewed about 20 people including the hostel staff and teachers, late Naila’s friends, hostel provost, watchmen and wardens, he said.

A member said the committee had proposed that parents should be involved in the process of allotment of room in the hostel and they must be allowed to visit the rooms to see where their children were staying.

He said the committee learnt that Naila arrived in the hostel on Dec 31 and the very next day her body was found hanging from a ceiling fan in her room.

MUET clerk released hours after arrest

DADU: Police released Agha Babar Pathan, a clerk working for the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, in late hours after his arrest in a residential colony of MUET on Wednesday.

Pathan was taken into custody for interrogation over mysterious death of Naila Rind.

Police let the suspect go after gleaning valuable information from him but kept his mobile phone and laptop, which reportedly contained a large collection of pictures and video clips of many girls, mostly students of the university.

Jamshoro SSP retired Captain Tariq Wilayat told Dawn on Thursday that police had decided to examine Pathan’s laptop and mobile phone data to find clues to the mysterious death of the student.

Pathan is a close friend of Anis Khaskheli, the main suspect in the case, who was the first to be arrested on the basis of call data record of late Naila’s mobile phone.

The SSP said that if and when police found solid evidence against the suspect, he would be rearrested without delay.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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