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Cleric arrested for torturing wife

By: Mohammad Asghar

RAWALPINDI: The prayer leader of a mosque was arrested on the charge of trying to strangle his wife and chopping her ear, police and the victim’s family said on Tuesday.

The four-member family lived in a room on the premises of Girja Road mosque. Ms Tahira married the cleric eight years back and they had two children — Hajira, 5, and four-year-old Hassan Ali.

They said relations between the couple remained strained since their marriage. Ms Tahira owned a plot and of late her husband had been asking her to transfer it in his name. However, the wife refused. In a complaint with Saddar Bairooni police on Tuesday, Ms Tahira alleged: “In an attempt to murder me, my husband hanged me from the ceiling. Later, considering me dead he cut my ear.”

The victim said after regaining consciousness, she went to her brother’s house in Quaid-i-Azam Colony along with her children and sought police help. The police registered an attempt-to-murder case against the cleric and arrested him.

Mumtaz Bibi, the sister-in-law of the victim, added: “Tahira’s ear was stitched by doctors in a hospital. Marks of strangulation were also visible around her neck when she was taken to the hospital.”

Notables of the area tried to make a patch-up between the couple after the cleric did not turn up to lead the prayers on Tuesday. In his statement to the police, the cleric, however, said he had slapped his wife thrice, but denied the allegation that he had cut her ear.

However, Ms Mumtaz observed: “He is a cruel man and is giving a false statement to the police. He does not know how to treat a woman. He should be subjected to the same treatment he has subjected his wife to.”

When contacted, Imtiaz Ahmed, the younger brother of the torture victim, said his wife often used to ask Tahira about the ill-treatment at the hands of his husband. But Tahira always defended the cleric. But today she could not conceal the brutal torture by her husband.

He added: “As my brother-in-law was not earning enough to run the affairs of his family, I had bought a small piece of land and transferred it in the name of my sister.”

The cleric had set his eyes on the plot and forced his wife to transfer it in his name. When she refused, he tortured her, he added.