Three women of a family, and a neighbour, were killed in a village in Bawalnagar on Monday morning allegedly by their male relatives who suspected one of the deceased of having illicit relations with a brother of the neighbour.
Four others were injured in axe attacks by the suspects, who have been arrested by Donga Bonga police. The injured included Muhammad Afzal, who the suspects believe was seeing Pathani Bibi, one of the deceased; his nine-year-old brother Tahir Raza, father Muhammad Razzaq and a cousin, Guria Bibi.
Doctors treating the injured at Bahawalnagar district headquarters (DHQ) hospital described the condition of Afzal and his father Razzaq as critical. Medical Superintendent Abdul Razzaq said the wounds Afzal and Razzaq had suffered would require plastic surgery to heal. He said the injuries suffered by Tahir Raza, 9, and Guria Bibi were not very serious and the two would likely be discharged in a few days.
The autopsy performed on the bodies of Pathani Bibi, her elder sister Reshma Bibi and mother Shareefan Bibi stated that they had been killed by slitting their throats. It said they were also attacked with an axe.
The suspects, Muhammad Hanif and his sons Rehmat Ali and Hakim Ali, have confessed to the crime. They were arrested by Donga Bonga police on Monday afternoon.
Talking to the media at the police station, the suspects said that the deceased deserved to die.
Rehmat Ali said he had never seen his sister, Pathani Bibi, with Afzal but trusted his father’s word about the two seeing each other.
Hakim Ali said his other sister and mother were killed for trying to protect Pathani Bibi. “They should have joined us in punishing her instead,” he said. He said he regretted having missed killing Afzal and other members of his family.
The FIR registered under Sections 302 (murder), 324 (attempted murder) and 148/149 (rioting) of the Pakistan Penal Code stated that the suspects attacked and killed the three women with knives and axes at around sunset. They then broke into Afzal’s house, in the same street, and attacked his family. It said by the time residents of the area gathered at the scene the suspects had already killed Afzal’s younger brother Tahir Raza and brutally injured him, his father, another brother and a cousin. They fled the scene on hearing people approaching Afzal’s house.
The suspects arrested 12 hours later from a neighbouring village.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2012.