SAHIWAL: She knew she would be killed by her own family members for marrying a man of her choice. And the inevitable happened on Tuesday night.
Farzana, of Noorkay Kathiya village near Harappa, had shared her apprehensions with the media persons and those who visited her in the local Darul Aman and had sought protection.
However, police believe it was her husband who had finally betrayed her that led to her murder at the hands of her uncles and the brother-in-law.
Farzana of Kathiya biradari fell in love with co-villager Shabbir of Dilo biradari. The Kathiyas are considered stronger, both economically and politically, than the Dilos in the area along the Ravi belt.
The two lovers left their village on Feb 7 and tied the knot at a Gujranwala court on Feb 8. It was the second marriage of both the lovebirds.
Farzana was married two years back, but she got divorce while Shabbir had a five-month pregnant wife at the time of his second marriage.
The couple decided to move to Karachi and boarded Tezgam Express on Feb 11 from Gujranwala. Some men of the Kathiya tribe who were tracking the couple also boarded the train from Sahiwal with an intention to kill them.
Getting wind of the suspicious movement of the Kathiya men, the couple jumped out of the slow-moving train near Harappa bypass at 11pm.
Harappa police shifted the injured couple to DHQ Hospital, Sahiwal. The girl was treated in a neuro ward for a head injury, while her husband in the surgical ward for a fractured leg.
Farid Town police deployed 15 personnel for the couple’s safety.
Shabbir yielded to the pressure of elders of both biradaris and signed divorce papers at the surgical ward. Elders of Kathiya biradari later showed the divorce order by a civil magistrate of Harappa to Farzana. Shabbir then moved out of the hospital with his family.
Reports were that a life threat from the Kathiyas had forced Shabbir to divorce his wife. As Farzana refused to live with her family after recovery, the district police shifted her to Darul Aman on Feb 14.
Shabbir met the Harappa civil magistrate and informed him that he had signed the divorce papers under duress and that he wanted to live with Farzana. At this, the magistrate ordered that the divorce was ineffective.
In the meanwhile, Punjab Human Rights Minister Tahir Khalil Sandhu visited Farzana at Darul Aman on Feb 21 and promised protection and full legal assistance.
Darul Aman Administrator Sajida Shafi confirmed that Shabbir had meetings with Farzana at the Darul Aman.
She said Farzana left Darul Aman on March 18 when Shabbir produced the fresh court order that he was legally her husband.District Police Officer Syed Khurram Ali believed that Shabbir had handed over the girl to her family. He said Shabbir, who is now in police custody, had changed his stance.
Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2014