SIALKOT

The police have appeared apathetic and indifferent to take action against a man who burnt alive his hapless wife in front of his children and neighbours.

As per details, 60-year-old namely Zahida Sarwar Khan was burnt alive by her husband Qayyum Khan alias Babar Khan on May 20 and she remained hospitalised at Army Burn Centre (ABC) Kharian for eight days but could not survive.

According to neighbours, it was around midnight on May 20, 2014 when routine tantrum started arising from the house of one Qayyum Khan alias Babar Khan. He was abusing his wife namely Zahida Sarwar Khan. "We ignored because it was a routine matter, but then around midnight, Zahida started screaming and shouting repeatedly saying, "Don't put me on fire Babar, please leave me" told a neighbour. "It was loadshedding at that moment, so the noise spread like a fire and we, the neighbours started getting out of our houses to see what actually was happening," he further told. "Boundary walls of Babar Khan's house are short, and many of the neighbours standing in the street witnessed the whole episode with their naked eyes via un-curtained windows and UPS lightened drawing room windows while abusing Zahida, Babar Khan ran out of his drawing room in rage to get petrol out from his bike and rushed back to the drawing room and then witnessed him pouring of petrol on Zahida while holding her by her hairs," told another neighbour. Most ironically, "a well grown up son named Usman, one married and two other daughters of the burnt alive lady were present when this inhuman fanatic put their mother on fire but nobody stopped him" told a neighbour. "When Usman, tried to rescue his inflamed mother, Babar promptly got hold kids of his married daughter Hina and threatened to burn them if anybody came between him and his burning wife," disclosed a neighbour and close relative. "Shehzad Khan, brother of Zahida, who dwells a few plots away, came running and covered his burnt sister and took her to the hospital, from where she was referred to Army Burn Centre, Kharian.

According to a neighbour, "While Shehzad was taking her to the hospital, she kept on requesting Babar not to harm her anymore as she is already dying" an aggrieved neighbour told. "The killer is so fearless that after few days of burning his wife, he himself came to ABC, Kharian and threatened Shehzad Khan to burn him as well alive on the road if he ever tried to give an application against him" told a relative.

"I continuously called SHO Rangpura Mian Abdul Qadeer for almost two hours but he did not show up, at last he showed up when things had been manipulated by the killer and his nephew ex-counselor Khawaja Faisal," told first cousin of the deceased. "While we were striving for a post-mortem and FIR, Khawaja Faisal was trying to save his uncle. He was continuously calling PML-N leaders to stop police until sacrament," told a nephew of the deceased. "Killer and his abettors were in such a hurry that they even forgot to give last bath or shroud to the deceased woman. They buried her with pampers on, which she was wearing during her treatment from ABC, Kharian," told another cousin."Isn't it an irony of the fate, While Baji's dead body was laying un-shrouded, all sons and daughters of Zahida Sarwar namely Bilal, Usman, Salman, Sabeen, Hina and Arooj were giving written statement to the police that their mother's death was an accident due to gas leakage" told a cousin of the deceased while weeping. "I was regularly being threatened by the killer and his abettors not to go for a legal action but I have given application to the SHO, PS Rang told Shehzad Khan, brother of the deceased but no action has been taken against the murderer who is not only living peacefully in his house but has not closed his office for a single day since the incident" regretted Shehzad.

According to Investigation Officer SI Arshad, it is an accident as he has received written statements of the deceased's six children and five neighbours. "It includes two statements of the deceased's nephews who reside in Lahore therefore we cannot proceed against Babar on Shehzad's application.

Meanwhile, Rangpura Police SHO Mian Abdul Qadeer said that "on written statements of children of the deceased, a report under section 174 of Cr.PC has been prepared and submitted to the relevant authority and if brother of the deceased finds any such suspicions, he may go to the court of law". He further informed The Nation to "contact the relevant Investigation officer for clinical updates."

On the other hand, DPO Goher Nafees told that he is hand bound by the law. All six children of the deceased have given statement that their mother's death was an incident therefore application of the brother of the deceased is not only late but also irrelevant. "But I will re-verify the incident, the DPO affirmed.

However, Legal Experts Khawaja Awais Mushtaq and Abdullah Saleem declared that the incident falls in the purview of Anti-Terrorism Act. According to the learned counsels, Section 302 PPC is compoundable but 7ATA is not compoundable and there is a massive irregularity in the conduct of the Rangpura Police SHO and the Sialkot DPO.

Kh Awais further told, "I have been appointed by the plaintiff his counsel and "we are going to file a petition under sections 22-A/22-B in which we have made both the DPO and SHO Rangpura respondents." Abdullah Saleem said that the petition had a humanitarian aspect as well and there was a severe misconduct on the part of the police.

Dr Tahir, first attendant of the deceased at Sialkot Medical Complex informed that the patient had suffered 70 percent burns and was referred to Army Burn Centre Kharian in critical condition.

According to Col Dr Ehsan Elahi of ABC, Kharian, "Yes we tried to save the patient but she was burnt severely. Moreover, we are bound by the army discipline and we cannot comment on criminal incidents without prior permission from the higher authorities," he pointed out.