A man killed his former wife outside the central jail after she converted to marry for the second time.
According to police officials, Ferozewala resident 35-year-old Shakila was shot outside the Gujranwala central jail after she converted to Islam and married for the second time. Shakila married Ashfaq Masih eleven years ago and sought a divorce from him two years ago after she converted.
“She said the kalma in front of around eight people outside Church one day and told me she wanted a divorce. All the people there said that our marriage was invalid anyway, because she had just converted,” Ashfaq Masih told The Express Tribune.
“She also formally filed for divorce a few days later. Two days later I left to work abroad. Now that I have returned I have seen that she is also trying to get my children to convert and pushing them to live with her and her new husband rather than her parents,” he said.
Ashfaq also accused Shakila of prostitution. “She was trying to make enough money to free her husband because he was in jail for robbery,” he said. “The man murdered her purely out of jealousy and rage. He is trying to deflect and accuse the woman. We have seen her visit her husband weekly and she was an honourable woman. She even did purdah,” said constable Ishfaq Hasan.
On Saturday, after Shakila was visiting her husband Faisal Munawwar in the jail, she was apprehended by Ashfaq outside the prison. “He threatened her and tried to beat her but she fought back. It took me a few minutes to cross the road to go help her,” constable Ishfaq, a gatekeeper at the jail said.
“By the time I caught him, he had already shot her,” he added. “We sent her to the hospital but they told us she was already dead when she arrived,” he added. Constable Ishfaq apprehended Ashfaq and put him in a jail cell. “We will also file a case with police but we wanted to ensure he didn’t escape,” he added.
Ashfaq was kept in a cell adjacent to Shakila’s second husband Faisal Munawwar. A brawl broke out between both men, while they were in their cells and jail officials shifted the men in separate rooms. “We will register a case tomorrow and he will be punished,” the constable said.
“He killed her because she converted. He ever really got over that and he had sworn revenge several times,” said Shakila’s neighbour Abida Bibi. Abida Bibi said that Shakila had five children and the children were currently living with their grandmother. “The only thing they could agree on was that the children stay with Shakila’s parents because they were Christian. The family had cut off Shakila and she seldom got to visit them,” she said.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31th, 2011.