MUZAFFARGARH, Sept 11: The ordeal of ill-fated Irshad Bibi, who suffered burns in an acid attack by her husband, seems far from over despite generous offer by an NGO as her very own people blocked her way to accept the help and go for the treatment.
Apparently succumbing to the pressure of the tormentor’s family to strike a compromise, her family and relatives stopped her from going to Islamabad for treatment at the expense of the NGO on the plea that “such organisations have the reputation of committing immoral activities and they will use her also for their nefarious designs”.
The NGO, however, told Dawn that the woman had been immediately taken for the operation after she managed to reach its hospital in Islamabad.
A resident of the area to which the victim belonged defended the family’s stance, saying: “The NGOs are involved in un-Islamic activities and it is a sinful act to get treatment from them”.
One of her relatives said the NGO, in fact, wanted to mediate between the victim and her spouse — the cousins — and they would do no good to her by doing so.
Irshad Bibi expressed optimism while opting for her treatment, saying she wanted to start a new life. She left for Islamabad along with her father for treatment.
“After recovering I’ll plead my case and get him (the husband) penalised through court”, she said before her departure. She said Mukhtar Mai had telephoned her and expressed sympathy with her. “I am very thankful to her. I am also thankful to the media and the NGO which has extended me help”.
Sobbing out her ordeal, Irshad Bibi said she wanted to visit her parents and asked her husband, Ajmal, to send her to their place. “Ajmal, however, stopped me saying he will give me good news and at night he came and repeated that he had a big surprise for me. The next moment he threw acid on my face and dragged me to a room from where he fled”.
She said when she cried out for help, one of the neighbours telephoned her parents and her father reached the house after two hours, broke open the lock and took her to Sanwan hospital. But doctors asked them to move to the Nishter Hospital Multan where doctors discharged her after two days.
At the hospital, she said, she was not admitted to a ward but was given a bed in the gallery of the Ward 9 and only one nurse came to give medicines to her. “After two days, the staff asked me to leave the bed and go home and use some herbal medicine because I couldn’t afford hospital charges and medicines”.
She said the NGO came forward after her ordeal was highlighted by the media.
Irshad said her husband would routinely beat her and whenever she spoke to her parents about her domestic life they placated her by saying that “a married woman has to live and die at her husband’s house”. She said her hand was given to her husband in ‘watta satta’.