Mother sentenced to death for 'honour killing' of daughter Zeenat Bibi

Published January 16, 2017
Hasan Khan shows a picture of his wife, Zeenat Bibi, who was burned alive by her mother in June 2016. ─ AFP/File
Hasan Khan shows a picture of his wife, Zeenat Bibi, who was burned alive by her mother in June 2016. ─ AFP/File

An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Lahore on Monday sentenced a mother to death in a case of 'honour killing' for burning her daughter alive in June 2016 after she contracted a 'free-will marriage'.

18-year-old Zeenat Rafiq of Lahore's Factory Area was set on fire by her mother Parveen Bibi more than a week after the girl reportedly eloped with Hasan Khan to marry him before a court in Lahore.

Parveen Bibi had earlier confessed she had murdered her daughter for "bringing shame to the family".

Police had suspected that Parveen was helped by her son and son-in-law in killing the girl.

ATC-IV judge Chaudhry Muhammad Ilyas on Monday sentenced Parveen to death in the 'honour killing' case, and sentenced Zeenat's brother Anees to life in prison. Zeenat's sister's husband was acquitted in the case.

It was revealed in court that Zeenat's mother and brothers had first beaten her, then her mother threw kerosene on her and set her on fire.

Parveen in court today accepted responsibility for Zeenat's death.

Zeenat's husband, Hasan Khan last June had agreed to let his wife return to her home after her family promised, in the days before her murder, to organise a traditional wedding reception for the couple.

He earlier told the media that Zeenat was not willing to go back to her parents’ home because she feared they would kill her. "But she agreed after her family gave assurances regarding her safety," he was quoted by a TV channel as saying.

Witnesses had told Dawn that they had alerted the emergency rescue service after they saw smoke coming out of Parveen’s home.

"Police and rescue firefighters reached the spot, put out the blaze and recovered the body of the girl," a witness had said earlier.

After Zeenat Bibi was set on fire in a low-income neighbourhood of Lahore, none of her relatives sought to claim her body, police said, leaving her husband's family to bury her charred remains in the dark in a graveyard near the city.

With additional reporting by Imran Gabol.

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