GUJRAT: A man allegedly set a 19-year-old girl on fire for refusing his marriage proposal in Mandi Bahauddin district on Friday, sources said.

The girl was taken to the burns ward of the Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital, Gujrat, where doctors said she was out of danger, according to the sources.

Police said they had arrested the suspect.

Riaz Ahmed, the girl’s father, told officers at the Bhagat police station in Phalia tehsil that his daughter used to learn sewing at the house of a woman in Kalu Sahi village where Tasawwar Hussain, the woman’s brother, proposed to her. But the teenage girl declined the proposal.

He said that when his daughter did not return home late into the night on Thursday, he and other members of his family reached Hussain’s house where they found him pouring petrol on her. The man had set the girl on fire, before her family members could do anything to save her.

Ahmed said he put a shawl on his daughter in an effort to extinguish the fire, which did go out soon afterwards but not before a considerable portion of her body had been burnt.

Sub-Inspector Muhammad Aslam of the Bhagat police station told Dawn by phone that the victim had stated that she was being forced by the suspect to marry him.

However, he said the suspect had levelled similar allegations against the girl and claimed that she had burnt herself only to put pressure on him to marry her. Aslam said that with the suspect already in custody and a case registered under Sections 336B, 324 and 337L of the Pakistan Penal Code, police were set to reach the bottom of the matter.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2017

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