The body of a woman, allegedly burnt to death by her in-laws, was exhumed here on Thursday to determine the facts surrounding her death.
The victim was the mother of two girls aged three years and six months, family sources said. Abdul Qayum, resident of Baran Gali village, told the police that his daughter, 21-year-old Samina, was married to Abdul Hameed of the same village about three and half years back.
However, she would often complain of “unbecoming” behaviour of her spouse and in-laws, who allegedly used to taunt and thrash her for giving birth to a second girl.
Qayum said that on April 10, her husband, his mother Khatoon Bibi, sisters Shabana, Rizwana, and Shaheen beat her. When she tried to reason with them, they tied her to a cote, doused her in kerosene, and set her on fire, he alleged.
She died without medical care, as the accused neither took her to the hospital nor informed the victim’s parents. “When we got to know about the incident from our sources, Hameed lied saying that she had committed suicide. They also refused to hand the body over to us,” Qayum lamented.
However, on the interference of the local police, the body was taken to Benazir Shaheed Hospital Abbottabad. The doctors who conducted the autopsy said Samina was burnt beyond recognition.
But Qayum alleged that the medico legal officer concealed facts, which ultimately benefited the accused who burnt Samina to death because she was unable to give him a son.
The complainant moved the sessions court seeking inquiry into the matter. The court ordered exhumation of the body for a second postmortem. The body was exhumed in the presence of judicial magistrate Bashir Ahmed Durrani and the board of medical officers who will conduct the second autopsy. The report will be compiled and submitted to the court by Monday, police said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 26th, 2012.