RAWALPINDI: A 22-year-old university student was allegedly shot dead on campus by her husband on Wednesday in an apparent honour killing.
According to the New Town police, Muhammad Shoaib entered Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University (AAU), Rawalpindi, and after a heated argument with Saira Naveed, took out a pistol and shot her in the head.
The woman, an eighth semester BS Computer Sciences student and a resident of Afshan Colony, Qasim Market, died on the spot, after which Shoaib, a 25-year-old student of Comsats Institute of Information Technology, was overpowered by AAU guards and handed over to the police.
Saira’s body was shifted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences. Police officials said Shoaib claimed that Saira was his wife and accused her of having an extramarital affair.
“I tried my best to make her stop cheating on me but she did not listen and forced me to do this,” Shoaib was quoted as saying by the police. Shoaib said the two had contracted a court marriage some four years ago without the consent of Saira’s parents.
Shoaib told the police that when the marriage was later revealed to them, Saira’s parents reportedly threatened to disown her if she shifted to his house. Due to her parents’ resistance, Saira refused to move in with him, Shoaib claimed.
Rawal Town Superintendent of Police Malik Karamat called the murder an ‘honour’ killing, adding that the alleged killer had already confessed to the police.
Talking to The Express Tribune, AAU students said Shoaib would often visit Saira on campus and would frequently argue. They said Shoaib had been involved in extra-marital affairs and was “offended” when Saira questioned his actions.
Free for all campus?
Students also criticised the university administration for failing to ensure proper security as Shoaib was able to enter the premises with a weapon.
“Three months ago, workers of a political party, equipped with sophisticated weapons, stormed the university. The incident was the result of a quarrel between the student wings of two political parties. There was no one to stop them and the vice-chancellor (VC) just hushed up the matter,” said a student, who requested not to be named due to fear of action by the varsity.
Students said a lot of their colleagues carry weapons but there is no one to take action against them. AAU VC Dr Rai Niaz and university spokesperson Musa Kaleem could not be reached despite several attempts.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2014.
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