PESHAWAR: The killing of a Kohat woman by cousin for working with an NGO on Thursday triggered an outpouring of grief and condemnation on social media with social activists demanding the early arrest of the killer for punishment.

Holding placards and shouting slogans, representatives of different organisations protested the killing outside the Peshawar Press Club.

They said the deceased was the sole breadwinner of her family facing hard times due to financial problems.

Social activists demand early arrest of killer for punishment

“The provincial government and police department should provide protection to the deceased’s family members, who are receiving death threats from the killer’s family,” said Maryam Bibi, a former member of the National Commission on the Status of Women.

She said there should be social support mechanisms to ensure punishment of the perpetrators of such crimes.

“The deceased possessed an MPhil degree and was the only breadwinner of her family. A few years ago, she began working in an NGO as her father suffered from cancer,” said Qamar Naseem, chief of NGO Blue Veins, which works for the rights of the disadvantaged people.

Mr. Naseem claimed the father of the deceased had died, while her brother was killed and therefore, she had to care for his widow and two children.

He added that after the death of husband, her sister and her son, too, became dependent on the deceased’s earnings.

“It is very unfortunate that the provincial and federal governments have turned a blind eye to the growing incidents of violence against women,” said Taimor Kamal, coordinator of KP Civil Society Network.

He said women were being killed in the name of honour on a regular basis but the relevant authorities were unmoved.

A picture of the deceased wearing glasses and having a smile on her face has gone viral on the social media with the people flaying the killing and expressing concern about the recent increase in the cases of violence against women.

Another picture taken after her death and showing her blood-stained face was also shared on the social media.

The motive for the murder is stated to be annoyance of the suspected killer over the working of the deceased in an NGO as he reportedly believed that her employment had brought a bad name to the family.

The suspected killer, Mahboob Alam alias Kako, has been absconding since he gunned down the NGO worker on Feb 6 in the jurisdiction of Kohat’s Ustarzai police station.

“The incident took place inside a house due to which the killer managed to escape. We have been conducting raids to apprehend him at the earliest,” said an official at the police station concerned.

The official said the deceased was an educated woman, whereas the killer was a watchman at a tubewell.

The FIR of the incident was registered on the complaint of the deceased’s sister under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The complainant told the police that she along with family members were present in the house when her cousin, Mahboob aged around 27 showed up and asked the deceased to accompany her to the basement.

She said the suspected killer asked the deceased to quit work as it was bringing a bad name to the family and that she should stay indoors.

The complainant added that when the deceased refused, the cousin took out a pistol and fired four shots at the deceased killing her on the spot.

She said the suspected killer thereafter.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2017