Police have arrested a mother and father in Kashmir for allegedly murdering their teenage daughter by throwing acid on her in an honor killing. It is said to be the first of its kind in the Pakistani-administered region, although they are commonplace across Pakistan.
Anosh Zafar, 16, was attacked after her father, Mohammed Zafar, saw her ‘standing close’ to a boy, police claimed.
Police officer Imtiaz Ali claims Mr. Zafar and his wife confessed to killing the girl because they believed she had sullied the family’s honor. The couple was arrested on Tuesday and an autopsy confirmed that the girl died of acid burns, according to local government official Masood-ur-Rehman. Police say the couple’s eldest daughter brought the case, which took place in a small village in the southern district of Kotli, to their attention.
She became suspicious when her parents refused to allow mourners to see the face of the dead girl before burial, which is a normal practice in Kashmiri Muslim society. Raja Tahir Ayub, another local police officer, told the BBC the girl’s father was furious because he saw the girl ‘looking at two boys’ on a motorcycle.
Mr. Ayub said: ‘He took his daughter inside, beat her up and then poured acid over her with the help of his wife.’ The parents did not take the her to hospital until the next day and she died there. Muhammad Jahangir, the head of the hospital in Kotli said the girl arrived with more than 35% burns.
‘There was no way she could survive,’ he explained.
Scores of women are murdered every year for marriages or relationships not approved by their families in Pakistan. The government made acid attacks a criminal offense punishable with life imprisonment in March.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that in 2011, at least 943 women were murdered, nine had their noses cut off, 98 were tortured, 47 set on fire and 38 attacked with acid.