Journalist arrested for allegedly killing wife in Rawalpindi

08 Jul 2020

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According to the FIR registered at Airport police station by the victim's sister, the incident occurred on June 29. — AP/File
According to the FIR registered at Airport police station by the victim's sister, the incident occurred on June 29. — AP/File

A journalist working for a private TV channel has been arrested for allegedly killing his wife in Rawalpindi's Yousuf Colony, it emerged on Wednesday.

According to the FIR registered at Airport Police Station by the victim's sister, the incident occurred on June 29.

In the complaint, she stated that the suspect, identified as Ali Salman Alvi, called her from her sister's phone at 2pm saying that he was "ruined" and the victim, identified as Sadaf Zahra, had "done something", before hanging up.

She rushed to their home, along with her husband and mother, where they found the suspect standing at the main door while the rest of the doors had been locked from the inside, the FIR said.

She added that the suspect then led them to their room where they found Zahra's body hanging from the ceiling fan by a bed sheet tied around her neck and a ladder lying close by.

The victim's sister alleged that the suspect had beaten her sister on multiple occasions, despite being warned repeatedly. She urged the police to investigate the incident.

Speaking to Dawn.com, Airport Police Station SHO Jawad Shah said the accused was arrested under Section 302 (murder or Qatl-i-Amd) of the Pakistan Penal Code the same day the incident occurred. He added that the accused was currently in police custody on physical remand.

He said that the deceased's autopsy report was still awaited, after which it will be concluded whether she was a victim of domestic violence.

The incident was highlighted on social media on Wednesday as citizens demanded justice for the victim, who had previously spoken up about domestic violence on Twitter.

Replying to the victim's Twitter thread, Digital Rights Foundation Director Nighat Dad said that the victim "who did an entire thread on domestic violence was a victim of domestic abuse herself".

Lawyer Khadija Siddiqui urged the authorities concerned to ensure the suspect was brought to justice.

Meanwhile, journalist Asma Shirazi said she was was "shocked and numbed" the moment she got to know about the incident. She added that the media group she was working with strictly condemned the incident and had terminated the accused.

Earlier today, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that a bill for domestic violence will be tabled in the National Assembly today (Wednesday).

In a tweet, she said: "The Domestic Violence (Protection and Prevention) Bill 2020 prepared by [human rights ministry] and approved by CCLC and cabinet will be tabled today in NA."