By: NABEEL ANWAR DHAKKU
CHAKWAL: A woman was strangled to death allegedly by her in-laws who considered her to be jinxed, sources in the police here told Dawn on Sunday.
Ansar Bibi, a resident of Nar village in the Kahuta tehsil of the Rawalpindi district, was married in the Dhariyala Kahoon village of Choa Syedan Shah on June 3, 2012.
On the day of the wedding, a bus carrying the marriage procession (baraat) fell into a ravine near the Nar village, leaving 27 people belonging to the Dhariyala Kahoon village dead and over 70 others injured.
The bride and groom were travelling in a separate car and escaped the accident.
But as Ansar Bibi reached her husband’s home, she was received with suspicions and considered to be jinxed not by her in-laws but also by most of the people of the village.
Since that day, her relations with her in-laws remained strained till her death.
A police official said that at the time of Nikah, Ansar Bibi’s father Mohammad Haneef had fixed Rs500,000 as the Haq Mehar (alimony) and it was also decided that if she was divorced, her husband would have to pay Rs8,000 per month to her till she gets remarried.
According to the police and the father of Ansar Bibi, the victim’s mother-in-law, Safia Begum, used to scold her on the ground that the day she stepped into the house the whole tribe was devastated and nothing went good even afterwards with the family.
“Her in-laws wanted to get rid of the woman but they were not ready to divorce her as in that case they would have to pay Rs8,000 monthly to her,” said the police official.
The husband of Ansar Bibi is serving in the army and has not come home for the last a few weeks, said the police official.
“Her mother-in-law thought that the only option to remove her from the house was to kill her,” the police official at the Choa Syedan Shah police station told Dawn.
He added that Safia Begum had allegedly discussed the idea to kill her daughter-in-law with her cousin Haq Nawaz who first demanded Rs50,000 but afterwards agreed to accomplish the task against the payment of Rs10,000.
“First, they planned to electrocute the woman but their attempt was thwarted as one of the accused also got an electric shock during the attempt.
Then they strangled her to death and told the villagers and the family members of Ansar Bibi that she had died of an electric shock,” the official added.
However, an autopsy conducted on the body of Ansar Bibi at the District Headquarters Hospital Chakwal showed that she was strangled to death.
On the basis of the autopsy report, the police registered a murder case against Safia Begum, Haq Nawaz, Tahira Bibi and Shafqat, said the police.
The police added that Safia Begum, who was currently ill, had confessed to getting her daughter-in-law killed by Haq Nawaz.
“We are investigating the case from different angles and conducting raids to arrest all the accused persons nominated in the case. Because of her illness and old age, Safia Begum has not been formally arrested but is under the police watch and being questioned,” said SHO Chaudhry Asar Ali while talking to Dawn.