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Brother of girl burnt alive in Lahore arrested

Brother of girl burnt alive in Lahore arrested

LAHORE: The brother of Zeenat Rafiq, an 'honour killing' victim, was arrested on Tuesday after being accused of assisting his mother with burning alive his 18-year-old sister for marrying the man of her choice, police said.

According to the police, Anees was arrested at a relative's house on Nishtar Road in the Thana Factory area.

Zeenat Rafiq's mother set her on fire last Wednesday in a low-income neighbourhood of Lahore. None of her relatives sought to claim her body, police said Thursday, leaving her new husband's family to bury her charred remains in the dark in a graveyard near the city. She was discreetly buried before dawn by her in-laws as activists and politicians condemned the gruesome 'honour killing'.

Perveen, the girl's mother, admitted to the police that she tied her daughter to a bed, doused her with kerosene and set her on fire.

Station House Officer (SHO) Sheikh Hamad said the Perveen also admitted she killed Zeenat with her son's help, and that she had no regret or remorse over her daughter's death.

Superintendent Police (SP) Ibadat Nisar added that the girl's corpse showed signs of torture and her throat hinted at attempted strangulation.

The husband, 20-year-old Hasan Khan, had launched a complaint in the killing against his bride's mother, Perveen Bibi, who is still in police custody.

The victim's family told AFP how Perveen ran into the street after the murder and began beating her chest, shouting: “People! I have killed my daughter for misbehaving and giving our family a bad name.”

Khan said on TV that the couple had eloped, but he had reluctantly allowed Zeenat to return to her family home after they promised they would hold a celebration and not harm her.

Rights activists condemned the killing last month as Senator Sherry Rehman called for the federal government to detail the steps it was taking to prevent such violence.

A few weeks ago 19-year-old Maria Sadaqat was tortured then burned alive for refusing a marriage proposal from a school principal's son in Murree.

In April a young woman was strangled and then her body set ablaze because she helped a friend elope in Abbottabad, another case that sparked revulsion.

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