KARACHI: The family of a 19-year-old girl, whose fiancé threw acid on her on Friday, fears the accused may abuse his powers as a policeman and walk free.
"They are letting him sit outside and eat food with them," pointed out Shabina, mother of R*. "He is using his mobile [phone] in the police station. No one can touch him."
R's fiancé, Zeeshan Umar alias Ali, threw acid on her as she was making her way to the market to apply mehndi on chand raat. She was standing outside her house with her brother, carrying her six-month-old nephew, when Zeeshan threw acid on her face. R, her brother and the baby suffered severe burns as a result and are both in critical condition at Aga Khan University Hospital.
"He should be executed," demanded Shabina. "If he has done this to my daughter then he is going to do it to other girls too," she sobbed as she placed a hand over her heart. "Her eyes are gone," she said. "I know he is going to do the same with other girls. He probably already has."
Shabina claimed that Zeeshan, who is posted at Mubina Town police station, is confident he will get away with this because he is a policeman and so are three of his brothers, Rehan alias Salman, Adnan and Irfan. Everyone in the Gulzar-e-Hijri area are scared of them, she added.
Since the accident, the family managed to get an FIR registered at Mubina Town police station, where the accused man is currently in custody. The police insisted they are treating him like any other criminal. His challan would be made after 14 days when the remand is completed, said Mubina Town SHO Zafar Abbas. "He will be sent to the central jail after that, he assured.
R's uncle, Muhammad Jawed Khaskheli, complained that the elected representatives who came by to visit her did not speak about the policeman's punishment. They only promised to bring the chief minister here when he had already left for Dubai, he said outside the ICU.
Her father, Abdul Rahim, who owns a hardware shop, sat at some distance, looking worn out from crying. "[Zeeshan] did this because R misbehaved with his mother," said Shabina. "Would he have killed her if this had happened after the wedding?"
R and Zeeshan were engaged for a year before she broke off the engagement six months ago allegedly because of his relations with other women. Zeeshan started threatening R and used to come by their house when he knew no one else was home, R's mother recalled.
He tampered with her photos and used them to blackmail her, the mother pointed out, adding that R stayed silent for the sake of her family. He also demanded the family pay him Rs250,000 once they broke off the engagement.
The family claimed that Zeeshan had planned the attack. He put glue on the padlock of their house so when she tried to open the lock, it wouldn't budge. Her brother tried his hand at the lock and that is when Zeeshan came by and told her she made a mistake by breaking off the engagement. He threw all the acid on her face but it hit the baby and her brother as well. Some of it even fell on his own hands.
R had recently completed her Intermediate and was taking a course in English language.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2015.