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Girl who spurned suitor burnt alive

Rawalpindi – A 21-year-old female teacher, who was torched allegedly by a school principal along with five others after sprinkling kerosene oil on her, died of injuries at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) yesterday.

Doctors said that she had received 82 percent burn injuries on her body. The dead body was sent to Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital Murree for autopsy. Police have arrested one accused over the incident, Senior Superintendent of Police (Operations) Karamat Ullah Malik said. Meanwhile, Additional Inspector General (Finance) Suhail Khan reached Murree to probe the matter thoroughly on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif who has taken serious notice of the issue.

Special Branch (SB) of Punjab police in its initial report mentioned that the girl self-immolated after having dispute with Haroon, the son of the school’s principal, who is already married and is father of one daughter, sources said. According to details, Maria Sadaqat, a female schoolteacher, breathed her last at PIMS because of critical burn injuries and her dead body was moved to THQ Murree for post mortem. After conducting the post mortem, the doctors handed over the dead body to the heirs who took it to Upper Dewal village for burial.

Earlier before her death, Maria told police that she along with her sister was alone at home while their parents had gone to mourn the death of their relative when Shaukat (aging between 60 to 65) along with Mian Arshad, Riffat Mehmood (55) and three other unknown men came to their home at 11:45am. Shaukat started shouting at her that she had relations with his son and today he would burn her to death, she said. She mentioned that later Shaukat sprinkled kerosene oil on her and set her fire. All the men managed to escape after committing the crime. She asked police to lodge a case against the accused. Taking action, police registered a case against the accused and started investigation.

SSP (Operations) Karamat Ullah Malik told this correspondent that police have arrested one accused Riffat Mehmood who has been shifted to police station for further investigation. He said that the rest of the accused are at large and police are conducting raids at various localities to arrest them. Sources revealed to The Nation that CM Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif took serious notice of the incident and ordered Additional IG (Finance) Sohail Khan to go to Murree and probe the matter from all angles. Reportedly, the DIG investigations reached Murree and started holding meetings with local police officers.

On the other hand, sources added that SB of Punjab Police prepared the initial report about the incident that took place in Dewal village of Murree. In the initial report, the SB mentioned that the crime as was stated in the FIR did not occur and the girl did self-immolation, sources said adding that the girl was used to teach the students in Sufa Academy where she had developed relations with Haroon, son of Shaukat. They said that SB also mentioned in the report that Haroon was married and has a small daughter. City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi, when contacted, said that the girl had died of burn injuries while police had arrested one accused after registering a case. He said that the police are conducting raids to arrest the other accused.

Meanwhile, the funeral prayer of the deceased girl was held at Upper Dewal village of Murree at 8:00pm. A large number of area people including politicians, educationists, police officers and other notables attended the prayer. Meanwhile, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Chairman Pakistan People’s Party has strongly condemned the ghastly murder of a woman teacher Maria by a mob in Murree and accused Punjab government and its Chief Minister for deliberately ignoring atrocities against women in the province.

According to reports, a teenage female teacher, who was burned alive by a mob in Murree, succumbed to her injuries while undergoing treatment. The mob had barged into her house, sprinkled petrol on her and set ablaze the poor girl. PPP Chairman said that inhuman atrocities are on the rise in the Punjab province in the absence of effective legislation as Chief Minister, Punjab and his cabinet seems to be taking up cosmetic and half-hearted steps as if the women are from some other planet.

He pointed out another woman was drugged, strangled and her body was burnt in a Suzuki van in Abbotabad last month by a Jirga but Punjab government seems to be making the committees and taking superficial actions while dreadful violence continues against the innocent women. He said that such mayhem against the womenfolk in the country’s largest province was highly condemnable acts of heinous crimes and PPP won’t tolerate the same. “We want effective legislation and administrative tools against such coward attacks on women,” he added. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded stern action against the mob and each culprit being part of it should be strongly punished to make example and measures should be taken to protect from such atrocities in the future.

The Nation:

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