ABBOTTABAD: A teenaged girl from the picturesque Galiyat valley was hospitalised after suffering burns injuries, inflicted under mysterious circumstances, police said on Friday.
However, police do not suspect that the act was honour related.
The family of 14-year-old N*, from a remote village of Circle Bakot, had shifted her to the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi on the evening of February 9 after she had suffered 90 per cent burn injuries to her torso.
Suspicions were raised when after she was shifted without informing Galiyat police.
Some members of her family told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity, also raised questions over the circumstances under which N suffered burns. However, at least one member of her family suspected that N’s parents had set her on fire in a family dispute rather than honour-related aggression.
“It is true that some of the villagers who approached the police, also suspected N’s parents of setting her on fire over some family matter,” said Assistant Sub Inspector Kohala Police Post Arshad Ayub while talking to The Express Tribune.
However, Ayub suspected that statements of the villagers and Ns’ relatives were based on their personal grudges and not based in reality.
Meanwhile, Galiyat DSP Jamilur Rehman told The Express Tribune that he had personally visited the girl and spoke to her.
He added that although N spoke with difficulty, she managed to record a video statement in HFH in presence of doctors, five notables of the area and Bakot station SHO. In the statement, DSP Rehman said, the girl described the incident as an accident and not a criminal act by members of her family.
Citing the video statement, DSP Rehman ruled that the incident was an accident with no external involvement. He also dismissed suicide.
Giving details of the incident, the official said that her clothes caught fire when a pipe connected to the gas cylinder got detached from the stove. The gas-spewing pipe pointed towards here as she was boiling milk.
To a question, the police officer said that according to doctors the chances of her surviving were slim since she was not recovering at the required pace.
However, some of her relatives contested details of N’s statement and demanded an independent inquiry.
Last year, the charred body of a teenage girl was recovered from a high roof van in Makol Payen village on the morning of April 29.
According to police 15-year-old Ambrin, also known as Halima, was first sedated and then strangled to death. Her body was then set on fire in two high roof vans.
Abbottabad police had said that she was punished following a decision by the jirga abetting and aiding the elopement of a girl from the same village a few days before the ghastly murder.
The police had arrested 16 suspects including the mother of girl. The provincial government had after the burning of girl announced to become party in the case providing free legal assistance to the family. The K-P chief minister had also announced financial support for girl’s family and job for her brother.
*Name withheld to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2017.
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