LAHORE: To avenge the murder of a family member, three assailants threw acid on a woman, her husband and their daughter-in-law in broad daylight on the outskirts of the city. The incident took place in the Baghbanpura police jurisdiction on Wednesday.
The injured were identified as Muhammad Boota, 55, Sarwari Begum, 45 and Shama, 30, of the Mehmood Boota area.
The investigation officer of the Baghbanpura police station, Sub-Inspector Ismail, told The Express Tribune that the victims’ family nominated four people, including Fauzia, Ihsaan, Danish and Shafiq in their complaint.
He said the victims stated that their son had murdered his wife some years ago and was in jail for the crime. The suspects were relatives of the murdered woman.
“You killed our woman, so we kill yours [is what the suspects said when they carried out the attack],” the IO said, quoting the victims’ family. “This seems to be an act of revenge,” he added.
The policeman said the accused were still at large and they were suspicious over the statements of victim’s family.
He continued that some of the facts of the story remained hidden as the police had only managed to take the initial statements of the victims. However, the cops had already initiated their probe.
The area where the incident occurred can be described as an underprivileged area of the city. Mostly small businessmen live there. Boota, one of the victims, said he was feeding his pigeons on the roof of their house when he heard his wife Sawari Begum screaming.
When I rushed down, I saw two men and a woman wearing black masks.
They were quarreling with my wife and daughter-in-law.” When he tried to confront the intruders, one of them pulled out a pistol and opened fire on him and later threw a bottle of acid” he said. “Thank God, I narrowly escaped the bullet.”
Boota told The Express tribune that locals immediately called Rescue 1122 after the attack and shifted the injured to the Mayo Hospital. The husband and wife suffered burn injuries to the shoulders, while their daughter-in-law’s face was burnt.
“Following the incident, locals gathered at the crime scene, but the culprits had managed to escape” he added.
Sarwari Begum told The Express Tribune said that a burqa-clad woman had come to their home and inquired about the residents.
“When I told her no one was at home except my daughter in law, she returned with two accomplices and the incident occurred” she said.
A doctor at Mayo Hospital, while talking to The Express Tribune, said the victims suffered 10 to 15% burns to their face, shoulders and other parts of the body.
We will let them go after observation. They are all in satisfactorily condition,” he concluded.
A law does exist
Social activist Advocate Nadeem Anthony pointed out that the Federal Acid Control and Crime prevention Act 2014 and Punjab Acid Control and Crime act 2011 are supposed to restrict the availability of the substance. He complained law enforcement agencies had not done their part.
“We can find acid’s at all shops of Lahore. Until law enforcement agencies take strict against these shopkeepers, these incidents will occur frequently” he said.
“Every week, we read about an acid throwing incident and law enforcement agencies remain silent spectators,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2016.