An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday remanded a man accused of burning a girl alive into police custody for three days.
The accused, Fayyaz Hussain, was arrested on Sunday by Toba Tek Singh police for allegedly murdering the girl, Sidra Shaukat, in village 296-JB on Saturday night.
Police added Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act to the FIR, which earlier included sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
The accused was brought to Faisalabad for the court appearance in heavy police security. The police sought physical remand of the accused for seven days. However, Ishtiaq Ahmad, the ATC judge, only allowed a three-day physical remand and directed the investigation officer to complete the investigation within 72 hours.
The accused had reportedly fallen in love with Sidra and repeatedly asked her family for her hand in marriage.
Shaukat Ali, father of the victim, told journalists that they did not accept Hussain’s proposal because he was from a different caste. “According to our customs, those who give their daughters in marriage to a different biradari are socially boycotted,” he said.
“Due to this, I rejected Hussain’s proposal for marriage with my daughter. In order to take revenge, he forced his way into our home on Saturday night, doused Sidra in gasoline and set her on fire,” Ali said.
“Afterwards, the accused fled away from the scene. We took Sidra to the Toba Tek Singh District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital in a critical condition. On the advice of the doctors, we were taking her to Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, but she succumbed to her injuries on the way,” he said.
He said the accused had been annoying his daughter for a long time.
Another resident of the village, Muhammad Ashraf, told journalists that Hussain had recently fought with Sidra’s brother when the later tried to stop him for harassing his sister.
Toba Tek Singh police SHO Saeed Anwar said initial investigations had revealed that the accused visited Sidra’s home on Saturday night to persuade her family to give consent to their marriage.
“The parents of the girl refused the proposal again. This enraged Hussain and he set the girl on fire after throwing gasoline on her,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2014.