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‘216 women burnt alive in 2012’

Karachi: Founder Madadgaar National Helpline Zia Ahmed Awan on Thursday attributed the increasing incidents of burning women and children alive to the improper law enforcing mechanism.

Addressing a press conference at the Madadgaar National Helpline office, he said that 216 women were burnt alive in 2012, adding, “This data is just a tip of iceberg but in reality the actual number of cases is very high due to which the lives of common people have become miserable”.

He referred to two cases of burns victims. In one such case, Ruqaiya, 27, a resident of Nusrat Bhutto Colony, Karachi, got married at very early age to a jobless and drug addicted man. Because of marital and financial disputes, her husband used to torture and abused her. On April 6 this year, the man hatched a conspiracy and threw acid on her wife, mother-in-law and three children. As a result, 22 per cent of Ruqaiya’s body was burnt and she is under treatment. The offender is still not arrested and threatening the victim.

In the second case, Gyan Chand Meghwar, 14, a resident of Khanpur Mehar, was burnt alive in enmity. Gyan Chand’s father Basru contacted the Madadgaar Helpline about his son’s brutal killing.

Speaking on the occasion, Basru shared that he has been involved in the investigation against the main suspect Krishan Kumar who allegedly kidnapped Gyan Chand and burnt him alive in enmity and revenge. According to Basru, the primary offender Krishan Kumar and his three sons are in police custody with the intervention of Madadgaar, however, another son escaped. He demanded strict action against the offenders.

Zia Awan condemned this tragic event and appealed to the government to take serious action against the culprits as well as providing legal aid and compensation to the affected family.

Zia said that the delay in providing justice, lack of implementation of policies, police negligence, poor medical facilities, medico-legal negligence and limited protection services were the main factors behind the increasing number of such incidents.

He highlighted the issues of burn victims and gave recommendations as the issue of burning children and women creates terror in society. “These cases are relevant to be sent to anti terrorism court for speedy trials. The most important issue is that there is only one Burns Centre in Karachi, which covers the entire Sindh and some areas of Balochistan.”

Zia suggested that police should be deployed at Burns Centre to immediately record the statement of victims and provide them security since the victims were threatened and pressurised to change their statements.

He also called for ensuring hygienic environment at the centre so that the victims and their visitors should not acquire infections. Besides, he added, rehabilitation services should also be provided to the burn victims like plastic surgeries so that they could lead a normal life. “The social justice system of our country needs to be regulated and serious action needs to be taken in order to help the victims and to ensure strict measures to control the accelerating level of burn cases,” he added.

Source: The News

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