A woman set her five-year-old son on fire after she had a quarrel with her husband two days ago.
According to police officials, the child was admitted to a hospital and the woman was arrested following the incident. Jinnah Road resident Razia Bibi and her husband Irfan often quarreled over their financial situation. “They had many arguments about the fact that he wasn’t earning enough and he had accused her of infidelity,” said Razia’s neighbour Sadia Bibi. “She told me that he suspected that their son wasn’t his and had questioned her about his paternity,” she told police officials.
On Friday night, while Irfan’s brother Asif was getting married, Razia sprinkled petrol on herself and her two children and set fire. “Wedding guests rushed to put out the fire and they managed to save her and one of her son’s but the older boy was badly burned,” said a wedding guest Rafeeq.
When questioned by the police, Razia said that she had been forced into her marriage six years ago and that her husband was abusive. “He does not earn enough and most of the time we don’t even have enough to eat. He has also accused me of cheating on him even though he has had several affairs,” she told police.
Razia said that she had lost all patience with Irfan and when he insisted that she and her children attend his brother’s wedding to keep up appearances she set herself on fire. “He even questioned my son’s paternity,” she added.
Model Town police arrested Razia and have registered a case against her. Police officials said that they were questioning Irfan and his family. “I don’t know what compelled her to do it.
What kind of mother burns her own child,” Irfan said. “She is mentally unstable and I don’t want her near my children,” he added. Police officials said that they were still investigating the details of the case.
“He says that she was mentally unstable but several neighbours have said that he was abusive and had tried to kill the children himself before,” investigation In-charge Muhammad Arif said.
Hospital officials at the DHQ hospital said that Faizan had suffered 40 per cent third degree burns. “He is in serious conditions and we have admitted him to the burns unit after treating him in the emergency ward for two days,” Dr Abdullah said. “Faizan has sustained serious burns to his face and his vision may have been permanently compromised,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 14th, 2011.