World Pak­istani bride kills 17 in botched plot to kill hus­band

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - World - 16

PAK­ISTANI po­lice ar­rested a newly mar­ried woman on mur­der charges af­ter she al­legedly poi­soned her hus­band’s milk and it in­ad­ver­tently killed 17 other peo­ple in a re­mote vil­lage, a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer said Wed­nes­day.

District po­lice chief So­hail Habib Ta­jak said a judge al­lowed the po­lice to ques­tion the woman, 21-year-old Aa­sia Bibi, for two weeks to de­ter­mine whether it was the woman’s de­ci­sion or her boyfriend had in­cited her to kill her hus­band by poi­son­ing.

“This in­ci­dent took place last week and our of­fi­cers have made progress by ar­rest­ing a woman and her lover in con­nec­tion with this mur­der case, which was com­pli­cated and chal­leng­ing for us,” Ta­jak told The Associated Press.

He said Bibi was mar­ried against her will in Septem­ber in a vil­lage near the town of Ali Pur, 100 kilo­me­ters (60 miles) south of Mul­tan, a city in the eastern Pun­jab province.

Ta­jak said Bibi was not happy with her hus­band and wanted to re­turn to her par­ents’ home.

She ap­par­ently ob­tained a poi­sonous sub­stance from her boyfriend, Shahid Lashari, last week and mixed it in milk for her hus­band, who re­fused to drink it, Ta­jak also said.

The woman’s mother-in-law later in­ad­ver­tently used the tainted milk to make a tra­di­tional yo­gurt-based drink and served it to 27 mem­bers of her ex­tended fam­ily, who fell un­con­scious and were hos­pi­talised.

Seven­teen peo­ple died and 10 are still be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal, he said.

Bibi and Lashari ap­peared be­fore a judge in the city of Muzaf­far­garh on Tues­day, where she told re­porters that she was an­gered over her par­ents’ de­ci­sion to marry her to a man against her will. They did not have lawyers.

“I re­peat­edly asked my par­ents not to marry me against my will as my re­li­gion, Is­lam, also al­lows me to choose the man of my choice for mar­riage but my par­ents re­jected all of my pleas and they mar­ried me to a rel­a­tive,” she said.

She said her love af­fair with her boyfriend con­tin­ued af­ter she got mar­ried.

Bibi said she had warned her par­ents that she was ca­pa­ble of go­ing to any length to get out of the mar­riage, but they re­fused to al­low her to get a di­vorce.

She said Lashari gave her a poi­sonous sub­stance, which she used to try to kill her hus­band. She ex­pressed re­morse over the deaths, say­ing her tar­get was only her hus­band.

Ta­jak said po­lice were try­ing to trace and ar­rest all those who were aware of the plot. He said Lashari con­fessed to sup­ply­ing the poi­sonous sub­stance.

Faisal Ching­wani, a top hu­man rights ac­tivist in the city of Mul­tan, said Bibi ap­par­ently com­mit­ted the crime be­cause she was men­tally stressed about the forced mar­riage.

Many par­ents in Pak­istan ar­range mar­riages for their daugh­ters against their will.

Po­lice of­fi­cer Shaikh Ham­mad said Mah­wish Arif, 25, was fa­tally shot by her younger brother Sa­mar Ali. The brother fired three bul­lets as Arif came to visit her parental home, months af­ter the mar­riage, in the sub­ur­ban area of Satu Katla.

Ham­mad said Ali fled the scene af­ter killing his sis­ter. A po­lice search was un­der way.

Nearly 1,000 Pak­istani women are killed by close rel­a­tives each year in honor killings. – AP

21-year-old Aa­sia Bibi and Shahid Lashari, Oc­to­ber 30. Photo: AP

NOVEM­BER 3, 2017 WORLD 18

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