Punjab police botched the initial investigation into the alleged “honour killing” of a British woman of Pakistani origin, who was found dead inside her family home in Jhelum last month, by focusing on her marital status instead of chasing potential leads.
Bradford born Samia Shahid was “murdered for honour” by her own family while visiting her ancestral home in Jhelum on July 20 in revenge for her divorce and remarriage, according to her second husband Mukhtar Kazam.
The victim’s father Chaudhry Shahid, during initial investigation, denied any charges that his daughter was killed for “honour” and insisted that she had died of natural causes.
Father of British-Pakistani ‘honour-killing’ victim claims daughter committed suicide
However, following the release of Samia’s post-mortem examination report, which confirmed the 28-year-old had marks on her neck, Chaudhry backtracked from his earlier statement, claiming his daughter had committed suicide.
The victim’s father further claimed that Samia was never formally divorced from her first husband, Muhammad Shakeel, a cousin, rendering her marriage to Mukhtar void.
The police were so obsessed with this element that they failed to carry out basic investigations that could have helped identify the cause of Samia’s death, UK-based newspaper The Telegraph quoted one of its sources close to the newly-formulated investigation team which recently took over the case on the orders of Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif.
“Samia Shahid’s first and second marriage could turn out to be a motivation of the alleged murder, but initially it was more important to determine the cause of death,” said the source.
“But they wasted time on it during which much evidence from the crime scene was ruined and the case became more complicated.”
The source also criticised the “vague report” given by the doctor who carried out the post-mortem on Samia’s body.
Man alleges British wife killed for 'honour' in Pakistan
Police initially told media that the post-mortem showed no external injuries. It later emerged that a long bruise along Samia’s neck had been ignored because it was not considered a conclusive “cause of death”.
The newly-formed four-member team has now taken over the investigation and begun questioning the original homicide inspector and his colleagues, as well as the doctors and medics who carried out the autopsy.
This article originally appeared on The Telegraph.
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