Woman fights for life after husband, in-laws ‘force her to drink acid’

Police register FIR five days after the incident

Iftikhar Chaudhry May 11, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The employee of a key governmental institution has reportedly subjected his young wife to severe torture and allegedly forced her to drink acid with help from his sisters and mother at their home near the Simli Dam Chowk, on outskirts of Islamabad. Officials say that the woman is currently battling for her life at a hospital.

Meanwhile, officials at the Bara Kahu police station, against the directives of Islamabad Police Inspector General Amir Zulfiqar Khan, have delayed the registration of a case against the suspects by five days.

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On May 4, Khalid Sharif filed a complaint with the Bara Kahu police that his young sister Neelum had married Tahir, a worker at Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) some time ago. He added that the suspect used to frequently beat up Neelum, an educated lady with two bachelors degrees.

Sharif further said that Neelum used to complain against continuous domestic abuse at the hands of her husband and her in-laws including Safia, Hajra and Asad Atif. Apart from physical abuse, Sharif said that Neelum also complained of being subjected to continuous verbal jeers and abuse apart from stinging criticism at her capability of managing household affairs and cooking.

Sharif said that when Neelum complained to her husband against the maltreatment meted out to her at the hands of his family, he, instead of consoling her, used to beat her up with support from his sisters and brother.

“After my sister’s condition was worsened, they tricked her into drinking some acid by calling it water,” Sharif said, adding that the liquid caused Neelum to fall unconscious while all other family members fled. Later when she came to and screamed with pain, it alerted area residents who rushed to her aid and shifted her to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).

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Neelum is now battling for life for the past five days at the hospital. Doctors, though, give a grim prognosis, noting that her condition remains critical. Even though Neelum’s brother filed a complaint naming the culprits, the police have yet to arrest her husband or any of his family members.

The police finally registered the case on Friday, five days after the incident, when Neelum recovered enough to give a written statement. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2019.

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