All it took was a few minutes of insane rage and an axe, and the unthinkable happened. A life was snuffed out – the life of a woman, ironically by him who was supposedly her life partner and protector, by her husband.
A man axed his wife to death and cut her body in pieces over a petty squabble in a remote village of Garhi Habib Ullah, police said. The accused, allegedly an addict, after committing the ghastly murder, threw the body parts out in the fields. According to the police, upon being arrested, he confessed to his crime.
Waqar Khan, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the police station Garhi Habib Ullah said that the villagers informed him about the murder of a woman in village Kashtara, some 12 km from the police station.
According to Khan, the accused Muneer, 45, has admitted to his crime in the police station, adding that his wife Nasreen Bibi, 35, often used to stay out of home. Muneer would take this as an insult and often stopped her from leaving the house.
On the Sunday evening before the heinous crime was committed, she again dared to step out. Muneer searched for her but failed to find any clue. However on Monday evening she returned home and when he inquired about her whereabouts the whole night, her answers could not satisfy him. According to SHO Khan, Muneer got angry and asked her to lie flat on the ground with her face down. “Before attacking her, the accused asked her to loudly recite the Kalimas; once she did so, he committed the horrendous act.
When asked about the reason for his cruelty, Muneer told the police that he in doing so had made her a lesson for other women who do not obey their spouses.
Other side of the story
Shedding more light on the possible reason for this act, Muhammad Javed of village Atarsheesha who is the younger brother of the victim, told the police and the media that his sister Nasreen got married to Muneer some ten years back and the couple had four children. Muneer, an addict, has no permanent source of living and used to work as a daily wager.
According to Javed, Muneer would often beat Nasreen whenever she demanded food and clothes for herself and her children. About two years back, the accused had beaten her with a club, damaging her skull partially. The concussion had altered her mental balance. “We took her to our home and got her treated for several months but she never fully recovered,” he said, adding that during her absence Muneer gave his four minor children to local philanthropists who have been looking after them for the last few months.
According to Javed, Muneer sought the support of the jirga and requested to take Nasreen back home on the promise that he would treat her with respect. But a habitually violent husband, he again started subjecting her to severe battering day in and day out and her mental condition further deteriorated.
On that fateful Sunday evening, she had gone to see her children in the neighbouring village; when she got late she stayed there overnight. A petty squabble ensued which led to her savage murder.
The magistrate sent him on judicial remand to Mansehra District Jail. The police registered a criminal case against the accused who recorded his confessional statement in the court of judicial magistrate Balakot, Islam-ud-Din.
Meanwhile the Human Development Organisation, Aurat Association, the district coordinators of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan have condemned the ghastly murder of a woman and expressed their pledge to extend legal aid to the family of the victim.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2013.