LAHORE: As if being brutally beaten by her husband of 11 years was not bad enough, a woman was set ablaze by the same man in the Shalimar area. This was not the end of her ordeal as she—quite literally—had salt rubbed into her wounds.
The victim, Syeda Bano, got married to Mansha some 11 years ago and had four children from the marriage. In her statement to the police, the woman said she had been tortured by her husband for all these years. He was reportedly a drug addict and would quarrel with her under the influence for the sake of money.
On Wednesday night, the two had a heated exchange and this sent the husband into a frenzy. He started beating the wife and then set her ablaze. She suffered burn injuries and kept screaming, but this did not soften the suspect who allegedly proceeded to rub salt on her injuries.
The victim was admitted to Mayo Hospital with serious burn injuries and her condition is critical.
SP Civil Lines Ali Raza said a case was registered against the suspect under section 324 of the PPC (Attempt to Murder). Cops said they were investigating the matter further.
Meanwhile, the body of a woman was recovered from a drum which was dumped in the Lorry Adda. The SHO of the area said a passer-by spotted the corpse, placed in a drum near a stand, and informed the police.
A team of the law enforcers reached the spot, collected forensic evidence and recorded statements of eyewitnesses. The SHO said police were yet to ascertain the identity of the victim and were waiting for an autopsy report to investigate the matter further.
Violence against women in Pakistan is rampant. Over 3,000 women were killed over honor in a two-and-a-half-year period. As many as 3,275 cases, under Section 354 of the Pakistan Penal Code (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage the modesty of a woman), 376-A (rape) and 376-B (gang rape) were registered in Lahore over the last three years.
At least 943 cases were registered under these three sections in 2014, 1,088 in 2015 and 1,244 in 2016. An increase of 31.92% (301 cases) was observed when comparing 2014 with 2016.
Cases of assault increased 14.34 % (156 incidents) when 2015 is compared to 2016 and there is also a rise of 15.38% (145) when 2014 is compared to 2015.
Human right activists say that the reason behind this violence is the male mindset. Punjab Commission on the Status of Women chairperson states awareness campaigns by the media and rights organisations meant more cases were reported. This is unlike the past when women chose to remain silent and incidents went unnoticed.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2017.