PESHAWAR: After struggling for life for 11 days, a young woman allegedly set on fire by in-laws in Pabbi town of Nowshera died at a burns centre in Punjab on Thursday.
Almas Bibi was later laid to rest at her village’s graveyard.
She was shifted in critical condition to the Khyber Teaching Hospital, Peshawar, on June 26, after she was allegedly dosed with kerosene oil and set on fire by in-laws, including brother-in-law Ishaq Khan, mother-in-law Noor Jehan and sister-in-law Shakeela.
Four days ago, she was shifted to the Kharian burn centre by her family members as there was no proper burns centre in Peshawar.
Arif Khan, brother of the deceased, said his family was poor and had no resources to meet expenses of her treatment and had planned to sell their small house in village to treat the female member.
A daily-wage labourer, he said his sister’s husband, Ayaz Khan, was abroad and therefore, she was not treated well by her in-laws.
“We have arrested the prime suspect, Ishaq, after the incident and he is now in prison,” said Umar Faraz, an official at the relevant Pabbi police station.
He added that the two women charged in the case were granted interim pre-arrest bail by a local court in Nowshera due to which they weren’t arrested.
The complainant in the case is Razmeena, mother of the deceased, who insisted that on the day of the incident, she was asked by Ishaq Khan to visit the hospital as her daughter had received burns.
She alleged that her daughter had strained relations with Ishaq.
In the FIR, the police claimed that when the woman had gained consciousness at the hospital they had recorded her statement.
The deceased had told the police that on day of occurrence an altercation took place between her and her in-laws including Ishaq, Shakeela and Noorjehan.
She alleged that her in-laws had dosed her with kerosene oil and set her on fire causing severe injuries to her.
Ishaq denied the allegations and told the police that his sister-in-law was talking to his brother, Ayaz Khan over the phone when she got annoyed over some issue and sprinkled kerosene oil on herself before setting herself on fire.
He added that his sister-in-law was badly burnt from her face up to legs promptly family members to take her to the hospital for treatment.
Representative of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Civil Society Network Taimur Kamal told Dawn that the provincial government had so far failed to enforce laws on domestic violence and acid and burn crimes.
He said while the KP Provincial Commission on the Status of Women had been working on these laws for many years, the delay in enactment of the laws had resulted in higher incidence of domestic violence and burns cases.
A member of national Commission for Human Rights, KP, Dr Yahya Ahmad has also sent a letter to Nowshera district police officer on Jun 4 about the present incident and had asked the DPO to investigate the matter and furnish comprehensive report to the commission on or before July 20.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2017