ISLAMABAD: A young couple was allegedly attacked by a knife-wielding assailant as they slept in the courtyard of their rented house in an Islamabad village on Saturday.
As a result, the husband died on the spot while his wife was critically injured and is battling for her life in hospital.
Saleem Khan*, who had lost one of his legs to the crippling polio virus, had married a woman** in Nowshehra district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa around two-three years ago.
However, soon they had to leave their native village after developing some issues with the woman’s relatives. They moved to the federal capital where they rented a house for Rs3,500 per month in the Chauntra village near Sector E-10 where Saleem worked as a tailor.
Police said that shortly before 1am on Sunday morning, residents of the village heard the woman’s shrill screams and rushed to help her.
Inside, they found Saleem dead with his throat slit and blood splattered all over his white shirt while the woman had a stab wound on the right side of her abdomen.
Reportedly, the assailant had scaled the wall of their compound and attempted to kill the couple. First, Saleem’s throat was slit but the noise woke the woman up. The unidentified assailant then stabbed her and fled.
Police say Saleem had bled to his death on the spot while the woman had to be rushed to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) hospital where she remains under treatment and attached to a ventilator.
Initial police investigations show that the couple had some persisting conflict with the woman’s family.
“A few days ago, the wife of the woman’s brother had visited the couple’s house where she had fought with them. Reportedly, they had married without the consent of the woman’s family and were forced to leave the village after their marriage,” a police officer with knowledge of the case said.
As investigations continue, police have ruled out robbery or sexual assault as the motive for the attack.
“It was not a robbery attempt. The motive behind the attack is not confirmed yet but we are told the couple had some issues with the girl’s family,” another officer said.
Police have since checked a house in Sector G-10 where the woman’s relatives are believed to have lived. However, it was found to be locked with no one inside. Police maintain that they will check the victim’s mobile phone records and track down the suspects.
Meanwhile, the Shalimar Station House Officer Inspector Khalid Awan said that victim’s brother had submitted an application at the station to register a first information report (FIR) for the fatal attack.
Woman raped at gunpoint in Sector H-8
A woman, who had been walking to an Edhi shelter at night in Sector H-8/1, was allegedly dragged into the nearby jungle and sexually assaulted.
The victim told the police that she had left her home in Rawalpindi on August 29 and was travelling to the Edhi Home in Sector H-8/1 to seek shelter there. While walking on the service road leading to the Edhi Home from Khayaban-e-Johar metro station she was intercepted by an armed man at around 10pm.
*NAME CHANGED TO PROTECT IDENTITY
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2018.