A brick kiln worker who set himself on fire four days ago on Tuesday died at Nishter Hospital on Friday.
In his statement to the police Muhammad Akram had said that nonpayment of his salary had forced him to commit suicide.
Akram had also said he was detained for six days by his employer, Momin Khan, at the kiln in Mian Channu for demanding his unpaid wages. He said he had finally escaped the detention and set himself on fire in front of the tehsil courts on Tuesday.
Khan and one of Akram’s maternal uncles, Mehtab, however, said that Akram had killed himself over separation from the wife of a colleague he had wanted to marry. They said Akram and the woman had eloped on March 25.
Mehtab said he had the tricked the couple into returning to Mian Channu by telling them that he would help the woman get a divorce from her husband and marry Akram. On returning to Mian Channu on April 1, however, the woman was sent with her husband.
City police said there was no evidence to suggest that Akram had been maltreated by his employer. SHO Muhammad Varyam said available evidence supported the owner’s narrative.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2012.