By Kashif Zafar
BAHAWALPUR: A 22-year old woman died at the Bahawal Victoria Hospital after succumbing to her burns that she had sustained when her husband set her on fire after she was unable to serve him lunch on time because of a lack of firewood in the house.
According to police reports, Samreen, a resident of Basti Deawanabad Sheerywala, Lodharn, about 20 kilometres from Bahawalpur, was at home when her husband got home drunk after visiting a gambling den. He asked her to serve him lunch. She said that she had been unable to cook since there was no firewood and asked him to get some from the local market.
Enraged at the prospect of going hungry all day, Ather Zaman, Samreen’s husband, stormed out of the house to the market, but instead of buying firewood, he bought kerosene. Upon returning to his house, he doused his wife of five years and mother of his two children with the kerosene oil and set her on fire.
Samreen was rushed to the hospital in Bahawalpur, but her injuries were too severe for her to be saved. She died on Saturday afternoon. Ather was arrested and moved to the psychiatric ward of the hospital. Some of his family members suspect that he may be insane.
According to Samreen’s sister Maryam, the wife of Ather’s brother Mudassar, Ather would frequently come home drunk and torture her sister. He would gamble away the couple’s monthly income.
Police, however, do not accept the hypothesis that Ather is mentally incapacitated. Police Sub-inspector Aslam said that people in neighbourhood say that Ather is not insane and that his wayward state is a ruse to get the police to drop the charges against him.
The police have registered a murder case against him.
Source: The Express Tribune