A woman who was allegedly stoned to death on the orders of a panchayat last week was actually strangled by her own husband, the police said on Saturday.
Preliminary investigations carried out by the law enforcement personnel have shown that news reports on the 35-year-old Mariyam Bibi’s murder were inaccurate.
About a week ago, the mother of five got involved in a scuffle with local land owners Arsalan and Mehboob when she went to a field to cut some grass for her livestock.
It was earlier reported that Mehboob’s aides went to the woman’s house to ‘teach her a lesson’ where she was stoned to death while her husband, Sarfaraz, was kidnapped. Now, not only is the cause of Mariyam’s death said to be different, Sarfaraz’s confession to the police of killing his own wife has complicated proceedings further.
A resident of the area and a witness in the case, Rashid told The Express Tribune the couple had a series of fights after Sarfaraz tried to force her to reach an amicable settlement with the land owners.
Shortly afterwards, Mariyam’s body was found in a nearby field while Sarfaraz was reported missing. Following this, Sarfaraz’s father Siddiq registered an FIR at the Kacha Khu police station against the feudal lords for kidnapping and killing his son. Three of the accused were arrested and offered to cooperate.
The police managed to track down Sarfaraz after residents of the area initially identified him as a thief. Sarfaraz told the police that he had strangled his wife with a piece of cloth and then smashed bricks on her limp body to ensure she didn’t survive. When presented before the area’s magistrate Rehman Elahi, Sarfaraz said the land owners were innocent and had nothing to do with Mariyam’s murder.
SHO Chaudhry Shamshad also said the post-mortem report ruled out torture and the real cause of her death was suffocation.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry took suo motu notice of the incident after a local TV channel first broke the news. District Police Officer Waqar Abbasi, however, said no panchayat was held and no stoning verdict was passed.
Sarfaraz will appear before the Supreme Court on July 23.
Following media reports, Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif arrived in Khanewal on Saturday to offer condolences and hand over a cheque of Rs500,000 to the deceased’s family.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.
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Crimes against women are rampant in South Punjab and Sind. This is the unfortunate reality. Laws are legislated but never implemented.
For your very kind information the crimes against women have declined in Sindh so stop stereotyping. Sindh government established anti-Karo Kari centers in central and northern Sindh to assist women and educate and prevent such crimes. There are hardly any reports in media of acid throwing, vani, swara, karo-kari etc as the same is in decline. Even a sharp decline is being witnessed in the so-called tradition of Haq Bakhshwana whereby women were married to the Holy Quran.
We still have the menace of target killing, extortion and tribal feuds but those crimes indicate an outbreak of law and order as opposed to crimes against women and minorities in Punjab which indicate the immense societal decay undertaking place in Punjab.
Punjab has become a cesspool of barbaric crimes, the reason behind is Rana Sanaukla of (PML)N. He has supported and presided over this kind of feudal "panchayat justice" all his adult life. This type of people have no respect for women and their rights. He actualy provides protection to the perpetrators of such crimes. On top of that he's tolerated killings of christians and shias in and around his native Faisalabad. I personally know victims of such persecution and believe me their stories are heart wrenching.
It's obvious that the poor husband has been 'bought' by the powerful landlords and forced to accept responsibility in exchange for some money and for sparing his and his kids' lives in future! For Quaisar Jan here who likened this to Arabia, Arabs are far more honorable and respectful, no such things happen there, and in no way in this manner. The curse of mistreating women is very much indigenous to our powerful and mostly corrupt feudal lords in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh. It has nothing to do with religion or Arabia. It has everything to do with feudalism, a curse that needs to be eliminated if Pakistan is to progress. These Pakistani feudals in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh kill poor Pakistanis at will. They are also responsible for the culture of corruption and hooliganism in our politics.
While crimes against women take a nosedive in the other three provinces the Khadim e Aala ruled Punjab is now registering over 80% of injustices against the fairer sex in this country.
Not at all convinced by this latest report. This is a cover up of epic proportions.
@Khan: Euorope in 18th century was already a hub of human development, the arabian metaphor is best description, particularly the year 571. Do ur homework before posting.
This is the best Punjab police could come up with? Yesterday a provincial minister was boasting of best investigators trained by "Turkey", and a 3 billion rupee forensic lab. My simple question is the elementary medico legal requirement: where is the autopsy? Forget about the best investigators, forensic labs, at least do the basic century old practice of carrying out an autopsy to determine the cause of death. After that you don't need to rely on husband's account.
yet another example of irresponsible journalism and judicial over activism
The confession of the murdered woman's husband arouses more questions than it solves.The Supree Court, I am confident, will reach the truth.But it should make the probe fast and deliver the verdict fast; so that it doesnot become yet another case of justice delayed, justice denied.
Extremely irresponsible reporting by the media just to be the first one to break the news. Some one should have realized that such unsubstantiated Breaking News can cause serious damage to the reputation of Pakistan.
The same story..... Irresponsible reporting without any conclusions to the reason of death, postmortem report, no eye witnesses reporting etc...... then why in the world the press and media report it as surely as they have seen it all with their own eyes!!! Same was the case when the story was blew out like a rocket "Muslim teenage beauty queen stoned to death". And what was the result afterall ?? neither was she Muslim nor was she stoned to death!! WOW.... some big hands for dirty yellow journalism!!
the real cause of death could have been suffocation however quick confession sounds like, "you confess and save us in return we will sort it out for you"
media should verify the rported brutal incident of stoning to death before airing it . Later on when it is found to be different it adversely affects the credibility of channel. Moreover something is fussy about the incident as it appears. Here comes the role of a investigative journalist
media should verify the rported brutal incident of stoning to death before airing it . Later on when it is found to be different it adversely affects the credibility of channel. Moreover something is fussy about the incident as it appears.
well done chief minister for helping the family, kindly take swift and strict acton against all kinds of panchayats and take a review of other areas too
Just like Swat, just like Kohistan, here too the MEDIA is all out to malign Pakistan and Pakistani society with false accusations of heinous crimes! You can lie, but the truth eventually comes out!
media should be held equally responsible for misinformation and should be punished.
yet another example of irresponsible journalism
Whether the murder took place in remote areas or in cities, the only difference is that in the remote areas or villages, women become the victims of men and are murdered.
Whereas, in cities, men are killing men.
The mental equilibrium whether it is a remote area, village or a city is the same.
Now here comes the basic education of an infant boy or a girl that start from mothers lap.
If the basic education is not spread among the masses, it may take thousands of years to properly educated the people so that they should distinguish at the initial level as what is right and what is wrong.
looks like Arabia of 571 and not pakistan of 2012