Jirga decides murder case by trial by fire
MULTAN: A jirga, or local council, has declared a man guilty of murder and acquitted three others after making them walk on burning embers.
The jirga in Muhammadpur Dewan, some 130 kilometres west of Multan, was called to decide if the four men were guilty of strangling an elderly woman, Sydan Mai, and stealing her gold earrings on September 25.
Sydan Mai’s son alleged that his relatives Saifullah, Murid Hussain, Shahnawaz Fareed and Shahnawaz Haider had committed the murder, but they denied the charge. The jirga asked them to prove their innocence by walking on embers. Some 160 kilograms of wood were burnt for their trial by fire. When the wood turned to embers, they were asked to walk on it. Before they began, prayer leader Maulvi Miandad recited a verse from the Holy Quran.
After walking over the embers, their feet were wrapped in cloth and checked three hours later. Only Saifullah’s feet had boils on them, and he was declared the “sinner”. The other three appeared to have been unscathed and were declared innocent.