The body of a woman was found inside a water drum in an empty plot in the Phase VII area of Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority, police and hospital officials said on Saturday.

Defence Police Station House Officer (SHO) Shaukat Awan told Dawn.com that the body of the unidentified woman — wrapped in a plastic bag — was recovered from the water drum on an empty plot near Fatima Masjid.

Preliminary investigations suggested that the woman had been murdered, he added, but he was awaiting the coroner’s findings to make a definitive comment.

Police Surgeon Dr Summaiya Syed told Dawn.com that the woman’s body — her mouth bound with a cloth — was brought to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) last night.

She said samples had been taken but the exact cause of death would be reserved until the receipt of reports, she added. She estimated the victim was in her 30s.

Later, South Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Syed Asad Raza told Dawn.com that as per preliminary investigation, the victim has been identified as a domestic worker in DHA.

He said the woman had been living with a man at their rented residence in Qayyumabad. The DIG added that the man was a driver of a Chinese national in DHA while the woman also worked in the same neighbourhood.

DIG Raza said the man had told the policemen deployed there as security guards that the woman had been “murdered” by another man and that he “would not spare him”.

The official stated the police were treating both men as suspects in the case, adding that both of them have disappeared. The DIG said the woman hailed from southern Punjab and the police were trying to locate her family in the metropolis.

Earlier, the police surgeon had said the victim’s body was in an advanced stage of decomposition. SHO Awan had said the police had gathered “significant clues” about the woman’s identity and the motive of the alleged murder.

Last week, a newly married woman was found shot dead in Karachi’s DHA, with the police investigating whether it was a suicide or murder.

Last month, a 35-year-old woman was shot dead in the city’s Orangi Town over “some personal dispute”. In September, a woman was shot dead allegedly by her husband in the name of ‘honour’ in the same area.

According to a report by the National Commission of Human Rights, around 63,000 cases of gender-based violence were reported in Pakistan over the past three years.

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