- Sharif asks Punjab chief minister to take immediate action and submit report at PM’s Office
- LHC Complaint Cell orders Lahore district judge to investigate matter
- Husband of deceased had alleged that police stood by while his wife’s relatives swung bricks at her
In wake of increasing international and domestic criticism, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Lahore High Court Complaint Cell on Thursday took notice of the murder of a 25-year-old pregnant woman who was the stoned and beaten to death by her family in front of Lahore High Court and have ordered an enquiry into why the police apparently stood by during the whole incident.
According to police officials, Farzana Iqbal was attacked on Tuesday for marrying the man she loved. Her husband said that police did nothing during the 15 minutes the violence lasted outside Lahore High Court.
“I begged them to help us but they said, this is not our duty,” Muhammed Iqbal told a foreign news agency.
According to a press statement from the PM’s office, the PM has taken notice of the “brutal killing” in the presence of police. The statement added that the “totally unacceptable” crime had to be dealt with promptly by law.
“I am directing the chief minister to take immediate action and a report must be submitted by this evening to my office,” it said, quoting Sharif.
LHC TAKES NOTICE:
The Lahore High Court (LHC) Complaint Cell took notice of the incident on a press report and directed the Lahore district and sessions judge to look into the matter and submit a detailed report.
Police initially said Farzana had been stoned, but Iqbal told the news agency that relatives had swung bricks, not thrown them.
All the suspects, except the father, who has been detained, have disappeared.
A police officer on Tuesday quoted the father as saying it had been an honour killing. The 25-year-old had offended her family by marrying Iqbal instead of a cousin selected for her.
Police said her father, two brothers and a former fiancé were among the attackers.
Muhammad Aurangzeb, Farzana’s 20-year-old stepson, described how one relative had tried to shoot her, and then grabbed her head scarf, causing her to fall over.
While a member of Iqbal’s party wrestled the gun away, a female cousin grabbed a brick and hit Farzana with it, he said.
“She was screaming and crying ‘don’t kill me, we will give you money’,” said Iqbal. He said he tried to save her but the mob of more than 20 beat him back.
At one point, six people were beating her with bricks as she screamed, he said, and he and his stepson begged police to help.
Finally she stopped screaming.
The couple had been due to testify in the court there that morning that their marriage was genuine in response to a false charge of kidnapping brought by Farzana’s family.
It was not the first time her family had tried to kill the woman, said her lawyer, Rai Ghulam Mustafa.
On May 12, seven of her relatives had tried to force their way into his office, where she was sitting, he said, but his colleagues had fought them off.
Later they attacked her near a police station. Officers intervened and held the attackers for an hour before releasing them without charge, he said.
“She was afraid of being killed,” Mustafa said.
The case is the latest honour killing in Pakistan to outrage the world.
But for two days, the attack met with silence from Pakistani officials.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said there were 869 such attacks reported in the media last year – several a day. But the true figure is probably much higher since many cases are never reported.
What a horrible society we live in! What honour is there in honour killing? The silence of the officials is frightening. Well the CM will appoint a commitee and the world will move on to wait for whom the bell rings.
What a disgrace and an utter was of a life for nothing and No wonder there are lots of kids with deformities and extra legs etc. When they marry cousins.
The police officers deputed at Lahore High Court entrance and public who stood by watching this beastly scene are equally responsible for this brutality. All those police officers should besackedand prosecuted as accomplices in abetting a crime, otherwise mere suspension and investigation is an eye wash. As usual the IO will distort facts and nobody will be hanged. In any case murderers and rapists in Pakistan have many sympathisers, and don't get hanged.
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