LAHORE - A man, who killed his wife and wounded her three relatives in an acid assault on Ravi Road last month, was caught from a shrine, police investigators said on Tuesday.

“Investigation police have arrested the (alleged) killer, Muhammad Nasir, from a shrine in Shahdara after a successful raid,” a Lahore police spokesman told reporters on Tuesday.

The unemployed man visited his in-laws house in Shamspura and threw a large-size bottle of acid on his estranged wife when she refused to reconcile with him on February 9. The woman, Sakina Bibi, sustained serious wounds while her one-year-old son Ibrahim, sister-in-law, Rashida Bibi, and brother Shaukat sustained moderate injuries. The desperate man fled instantly. The injured were rushed to a hospital, where Sakina succumbed to burns several hours later. The Ravi Road police registered a case against the man and launched the probe.

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Chauhdry Shafique Ahmed took serious notice of the incident and ordered the SSP (investigation) to personally monitor the progress and ensure the arrest of the merciless killer. Police investigators say the differences developed between the couple after the man sold out his house and spent the money in immoral activities. The killer told the investigators that he had been feeling restless since the acid attack.

“The fugitive used to spend all his time at different shrines and graveyards to satisfy his soul,” a police source quoted the killer as telling the investigators. SSP (Investigations) Abdul Rab constituted a special police team which launched the manhunt after collecting particulars of the criminal. The Ravi Road investigation police raided a shrine located in the suburb of Lahore and captured the killer. Further investigation was underway.

Acid assaults against women are common in the Punjab province.  In January, unidentified men stopped an auto-rickshaw in the main bazaar near Akbar Chowk in Green Town area, threw acid on a university lecturer, and fled from the scene.

There are no official statistics about the number of acid attacks being reported in the country every year. Experts in conflict studies say they believe no less than 150 cases of acid attacks are reported every year across Pakistan, the country tops the list of nations with incidence of acid attacks on women. Most often, the perpetrators are relatives or rivals – sometimes spurned in love or over other disagreements.