rawalpindi - A three-and-half-year-old baby was burnt alive when a man set on fire his wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her three kids after sprinkling petrol on them at Kohali village of Domaili area over a domestic dispute, reliable sources told The Nation yesterday.

Police held the accused who was identified as Arshad Mehmood (35), a labourer by profession. Police booked him under sections 302/436 of PPC and 7 Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA); however, he is under treatment at a rural health centre at Rajwal, Domaili, district Jhelum.

The deceased was identified as Ahsan while the injured included Zahida Perveen (wife of Arshad), Manzur Begum (mother-in-law), Sidra Bibi (sister-in-law) and two kids of Sidra namely Osama and Rania.

Sources said that Arshad Mehmood of Dhoke Phaphra got married with Zahida Perveen, a resident of Kohali village, and the couple has three children. A few days ago, they said, a brawl occurred between the couple on which the lady left the house of her husband and started living with her mother. They said that Arshad arrived at his in-laws’ home and requested Zahida to return home along with children.

However, they said, the wife told her husband to go back home with children and she would return later in the evening. In the meanwhile, Sidra Bibi, sister of Zahida, along with her three small kids also came to the house of her mother after hearing about fight between the couple.

Sources said that Arshad again visited his in-laws at 7:00am and started quarrelling with his wife for not returning home and set on fire his wife and her relatives and locked them in a room.

Later the locals rescued the victims and rushed them to PIMS where doctors refused to treat them due to shortage of beds and they were moved to Holy Family Hospital (HFH) Rawalpindi where doctors started efforts to save the lives of victims.

When contacted a doctor said that a minor Ahsan succumbed to his wounds at the hospital while the other five patients also received up to 80 per cent burn injuries.

Mir Afzal, a police official at Police Station Domaili also confirmed the incident, saying the accused burnt his wife and her other family members by sprinkling petrol on them. He said that police arrested the accused after lodging a case under Anti-Terrorism Act on the statement of his mother-in-law Manzur Begum.

Separately, an 18-year-old college girl who had tried to immolate herself on Monday last died at Fauji Foundation Hospital, well-placed sources revealed to The Nation yesterday.

The deceased was identified as Rawish Afsheen, daughter of Muhammad Azhar, the second year student at Government Fatima Jinnah College for Women, Dina, sources added.

According to sources, Rawish Afsheen was brought to FFH on Monday last from Dina after she set herself blaze after sprinkling kerosene oil in the college and sustained critical burn injuries. The girl remained admitted in the burn centre but could not survive, sources said. The doctors handed over the dead body to heirs for burial, they said.

Sources further said that Rawish attempted suicide in the college after college principal snubbed her over writing an unknown letter to principal levelling allegations of illicit relations of two girls students with a clerk. Later, the sources said, the college principal held an inquiry and the writing in the letter matched with Rawish’s hand writing. On this, the college principal called her in office and snubbed her while giving her warning not to commit such mistake in future. The girl burnt herself after being disheartened from the attitude of college principal. As a result, her 80 per cent body burnt, sources said.

Shoaib Ul Hassan, the brother of deceased, when contacted, said that his sister committed suicide because of unfair attitude of college principal. He vowed to take legal action against the college principal.

However, station house officer of police station Dina, Saleh Muhammad, when approached, said the father of the girl had submitted an application soon after Rawish attempted self-immolation, stating that he would not initiate action against anyone. He added that the girl burnt herself after college principal snubbed her in presence of her mother in the office. “The girl committed suicide and police in accordance with law would take action against her,” the SHO said.