Brother identifies head of Ashura blast victim

shiite-ijazhussain3-300x160Ghulam Hussain may have received a sense of closure when on Friday he identified the mutilated head of his brother, missing since the Dec 28, 2009 Ashura carnage, but he dreaded having to break the heart-rending news to his sister-in-law, nephews and nieces back in Sargodha. The head of the victim, who was martyred

along with many other participants of the main Ashura procession in a bomb blast last month, was found on Jan 20 near a bakery on M.A. Jinnah Road. Comforted by two brothers-in-law as he hobbled out of the Edhi morgue in Sohrab Goth after identifying the head, Hussain said he had finally found out the fate of his missing brother Ejaz Ahmed. What lay ahead of him was the sorrowful task of sharing the news with Ejaz’s widow, three daughters and two sons back home in Shahpur tehseel of Sargodha district, he said. He added that his brother was the only breadwinner of his family. “Today, I came to know what I already kind of knew in my heart of hearts, but the family back home will have a hard time coming to terms with this tragedy. They only know that Ejaz is here to make a meagre living for the family as a labourer at the Karachi Fish Harbour.” Thirty-eight-year-old Ejaz Ahmed was one of the four persons who were missing since the Ashura procession tragedy. The victim’s head was found near Lighthouse more than 20 days after the blast. Though the police with the assistance of the victim’s friends were close to having traced his identity, the remains were shifted to the Edhi morgue after a postmortem examination at the Civil Hospital Karachi for a confirmation by a relative. Accordingly, his elder brother Ghulam Hussain, a resident of Shahpur, was requested to visit the city. The incident also came as a rude shock to the families of three other people missing since the tragedy, who were relying on the police claim that the affected area had been cleared after a thorough search and the investigators found no more signs of human remains in the locality. Though the police claimed to have almost traced the links to three other missing persons, the investigators left several questions unanswered – the screening of the area after the tragedy, gathering of forensic evidence and police’s honesty about having made efforts to trace the persons missing after the blast. “Since it’s a congested area search of every corner and space is a complicated task, yet this is being ascertained as to how a body part remained undetected despite screening of the affected area,” said Inspector Amjad Kalhiaar of the Special Investigation Unit, which had been assigned the investigation into the tragedy. “We have collected samples of the family members of the missing people for DNA tests to match them with unidentified body parts. We are in very close contact with the families of the missing persons and close to ascertaining their fate.” But such claims appeared particularly hollow because Hussain received no official help following the identification of his elder brother. “We will now take his body parts to bury them in our ancestral town. That’s all we have to satisfy ourselves and Ejaz’s children,” he said. “I can only pray for the families of the other missing persons as we can feel their pain.”



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