KARACHI- Police arrested six suspects for allegedly strangling a married couple to death on the orders of a ‘jirga’ in Karachi on Thursday.
Ismat and his wife Irfana were killed in the name of honour in the wee hours of Wednesday allegedly by woman’s family in the limits of Shah Latif Town Police Station.
According to police, the couple had married around a year ago and they were living in a rented house in Orangi Town vicinity.
“Irfana left her previous husband and married Ismat on her own will.” Police said this, however, infuriated the woman’s family and her former in-laws because it was a matter of honour for them.
According to Shah Latif Town SHO Raja Abbas, the family called the couple to their home in Malir district on the pretext of sorting out the issues prevailing among them.
“The woman’s family and her previous husband were pressurizing the couple to get separated from each other. They, however, were adamant that they won’t,” SHO Abbas said, referring to the investigations of the case.
The meeting was a so-called Jirga chaired by the elders of the woman’s family, her maternal uncle and others, he said. When the couple refused to succumb to their custom they ordered them to be condemned.
The SHO said the man was strangled to death with a rope while the woman was killed with her own dupatta. Ismat’s family took his dead body to home in Sherpao Colony without even informing the police about the incident while Irfana was laid to rest in a nearby graveyard, he added.
He said the incident was reported to police through their own sources and when they investigated into it they found the story.
“Later, police arrested six suspects from the families of both victims while the arrested suspects also confessed to the offence during initial interrogation.”
Police have registered a case under Sections 302, 102, 201, 202, 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
AFP adds: The victims had been married for a year and were living in Karachi’s eastern Malir district after the woman left her previous husband and fled her home in the city’s west.
A tribal ‘jirga’ or informal council – which included her first husband and his relatives – sentenced the pair to death. Holding jirgas is illegal in the country.
“They were strangled and buried in a graveyard by the jirga members,” Javed Akbar, a senior police officer told AFP, adding that the men were arrested on Tuesday.
Around a thousand women fall victim to so-called honour killings each year – in which the victim, normally a woman, is killed by a relative for bringing shame to the family.
Perpetrators have often walked free because of a legal loophole that allowed them to seek forgiveness for the crime from another family member, but earlier this month the government passed a law that mandates life imprisonment even if the attacker escapes capital punishment via a relative’s pardon.