A recent shocking news of an 18-year-old Pakistani being set on fire alive for refusing a marriage proposal indicates that violence against women is still prevalent in the country.
Four perpetrators attacked Maria Sadaqat after breaking into her house on Monday night while the young schoolteacher was baby-sitting her five-year-old sister. She was brutally beaten by a group of men and was drenched in petrol before set on fire.
Maria’s family was busy attending a family funeral in a nearby town when the incident took place. The family was alerted about their daughter while at the funeral, but they thought that there had been some kind of accident, perhaps a bursting of pipe at home.
Maria’s family was horrified when they returned home to the village of Davel, situated on the outskirts of Muree in northeastern Pakistan, where they found their daughter lying on the floor with severe burns all over her body.
“Maria was lying on the floor, with 85% of her body covered in burns,” according to the victim’s uncle to the Edition. Although she was unconscious when taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, she died later in the hospital.
In an interview to the BBC, Maria’s father said that her daughter was attacked by the school owner where she taught. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took prompt action by launching an investigative team just after the incident to find the culprits.
According to reports, three people have already been arrested in Islamabad connected to the teenager’s killing. An arrest warrant has been issued against the fourth member of the group who is now on the run.
An upset aunt of Ms Sadaqat told the media that trouble started six months earlier when the school owner asked her niece to marry his son who was already married and had a daughter. “They wanted her to run the school after marrying the son of the owner of the school,” said the aunt.
However, the teenager’s father refused the proposal, for which they took revenge by killing his daughter. The incident has triggered panic and anger among people of the sleepy hill town of Davel.