How utterly horrible. Samina Sindhu, a Pakistani singer, was shot dead by a man who ordered that she ‘stand up and sing.’ What’s even more heartbreaking is that she was pregnant when she was killed!
Samina Sindhu, 28, was reportedly shot dead while performing at a family function in the village called Kanga, near Larkana city in the Sindh province in Pakistan, according to the BBC. The exact circumstances of her death on March 10 are not entirely clear. Samina – who the BBC reports as eight months pregnant, while other reports list her at six months – was reportedly shot by a man who “threateningly ordered her to stand up and sing,” according to her husband, Ashiq Samoo. When the pregnant Samina said that she could not stand, because she was pregnant, the man pulled out a gun and fired.
One man, named Tariq Jatoi, was arrested in connection to her death. He told journalists that he had fired in the air in celebration and a bullet hit Samina by mistake. A video of the shooting reportedly hit the internet, according to the Independent. The video supposed doesn’t show anyone threatening her. Instead, Samina is reportedly seen sitting on stage, accompanied by musicians. Three men reportedly approach the stage and shower her with banknotes, as is customary. She stands and keeps singing. As the three men exit the frame, three shots are heard and she falls.
“Niaz [Junejo, the reader of a sessions court judge] asked my wife to stand while singing and also dance,” Ashiq said, per Samaa TV. “She was pregnant and said she couldn’t dance. She rose to stand up and continued singing. In the meantime, Niaz, who was inebriated, provoked his friend, Tariq Jatoi by saying that he just sat and watched while Samina refused his demand. … Some of us took Samina to the hospital. The police beat up the other musicians of our team who had been left behind and also snatched Rs35,000 from them.”
Musicians held protests, demanding justice over Samina’s killing. Protestors demanded that the two other men at the scene be arrested as well. Ali Ahmed Palh, the Sindh Human Rights Defenders Forum Chairman, claimed that the murder of Samina Sindhu is target killing, according to the Daily Times. “It is not the killing of Samina but of art and music. Her murder has sent a message that Sufism, music, art and dance are endangered in Sindh,” he said. He also noted that Pakistan ranks 150 in the world in committing violence against women.
PPP district president Abdul Fatah Bhutto visited Samina’s family, assuring them that if this was a targeted killing, that they would be protected by the government. However, her husband, Ashiq, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the ongoing investigations, thinking that her killing should be looked into as an act of terror and not, perhaps, a drunken accident. He also has reportedly demanded that the suspect be charged with the killing of both his wife and his unborn child.
Samina, reportedly also known as Samina Samoon, was a locally known singer. She had released at least eight albums of Sindhi folk and Sufi music. However, her main income source was performing at family functions, which is the case for many musicians throughout Pakistan.