The murder of an innocent girl



TWO weeks ago when I was in Riyadh, I came across a story, which was also narrated to me by my granddaughters. It was about a horrible accident that one of their friends at school met with.

Muneera was returning with her mother on the school bus. The bus stopped in front of a grocery store and the child alighted the bus.

Suddenly a criminal driving at a high speed ran over the girl. This man was escaping without paying for his gasoline. He ran over the innocent girl and killed her instantly in front of her mother, who stood by in disbelief.

The mother nearly lost her mind because of this horrific accident. She saw with her own eyes her daughter lying motionless in a pool of blood in front of her.

Why? This criminal was escaping without paying for gasoline, which would cost him only a few riyals.

It is not only painful to lose an innocent life because of a person who refused to pay a few riyals after filling gasoline, but it is also painful to see some of us who have lost their humanity resort to this sort of deception, with no fear of Allah in their hearts.

Where is the fear of Allah when someone runs his car on gasoline that he had stolen from a gas station? Doesn’t he fear that he could get involved in a terrible accident and end up dying a horrible death?

One of my friends told me some of these people extract gasoline from their car’s fuel tank and sniff them, which indicates that they are criminals and drug addicts.

The death of Muneera should open our eyes to the system of selling gasoline at our gas stations. We need to do more to prevent these criminals from fleeing without paying, endangering the lives of peope on the road in their bid to escape.

Motorists ask the gas station worker to refill their tank for SR40 or SR50 and they hand the cash to the worker only when he replaces the lid of the fuel tank after the refilling is done.

We need to change this system of payment to deter the fuel thieves. Why can›t we force the driver to pay first and then refill his tank. If the driver wants to fill full tank and does not know the cost, then he should hand to the gas station worker an approximate amount of not less than SR100 and then the worker should return the change once the tank filled. Those who refuse to pay in advance should be denied the service.

In most countries of the world, the driver will leave his vehicle after driving into the gas station and go to pay for the fuel before refilling. This way the driver has no chance to escape without paying. This law is very strictly applied in America. Also their gas stations are equipped with CCTV cameras that monitor customers around the clock.

If someone dares to escape without paying, then all their information are recorded and they will be located to face the law in no time. Why can›t we apply the same system here in the Kingdom?

If a driver cannot pay electronically in advance, then he or she should be allowed to pay in cash. Also our gas stations need to be monitored around the clock by CCTV surveillance.

As for the criminal who killed Muneera, I do not see any other punishment that fits the gravity of this crime except the death penalty because the fatal accident was the result of a deliberate criminal act.