‘Giving birth to daughters was her only crime’

Khanyar Domestic Violence Case
Family demands murder charges against her in-laws

IRFAN RASHID

Srinagar:

The family of Khanyar suicide victim Thursday demanded stern punishment to her in-laws —a mother of two daughters who was allegedly burnt by her husband and in-laws on Eid. They alleged her in-laws had sprinkled kerosene on her “for failing to give birth to a son”.
Many locals of Ishbar–maternal home of the victim –also  joined them and demanded that police should lodge FIR under section 302 RPC (murder) against Mahjabeen’s husband and in-laws. They said, “Our daughters now fear in the name of marriage. We want stern action against her in-laws so that this fear factors gets erased from our daughters; otherwise they are in deep marriage-fear.”
The victim (name withheld), 32, was allegedly set ablaze by her “husband and in-laws” at his home in Kaw Mohalla Khanyar area in the old city—5 kilometers from Lal Chowk—on  the day of Eid-ul-Azha for failing to give birth to a son.
Her sister, Famida, said that the deceased woman was married to Rafiq Ahmad Sofi of Kawmohalla Khanyar, in the year 2007. However, since then her husband and his family was harassing her on one or the other pretext.. she alleged that Sofi and his family were torturing her for giving birth to daughters. “Infact, her daughter has been living with us right from birth because Jabeena’s in-laws had not accepted her,” rued her sister.
Her sister Famida had gone to her home at 3 pm on fateful day to distribute qurbani meat. “She told me they had quarreled in the morning also. Even she had not eaten at all on the Eid day,” shared Famida.
Then she had called her sister at 4pm on Eid and informed her that her sisters-in-law will kill her and asked to save her, shared her uncle, Ghulam Nabi.  He claimed that the deceased Mahjabeen again called her parental home at around 4:35 pm and insisted them to take her back saying that her husband and his sisters may kill her.
“Their only grudge with the victim was that she had given birth to daughters only. Her husband used to beat her for failing to give birth to a boy. Her two sisters-in-law: Jameela and Lala and mother-in-law Fatima, and husband Rafiq have provoked her,” uncle said. “When we reached hospital she told us her sister-in-law from Jawahar Nagar did this to her. These were her last words and ultimately she died at 11 pm that night,” he said.
The family members of deceased woman claimed that her entire body was severely burnt and her face too was smashed. The burn injuries are said to be nearly 90 percent.
POLICE VERSION
However, according to the FIR lodged by police, the deceased woman had sprinkled kerosene oil on her body in a bid to end her life due to harassment by her in-laws and husband. Victim succumbed to her injuries in the hospital.
A police official of Khanyar police station said that Jabeena’s husband, two sisters-in-laws and mother-in-law have been arrested and FIR vide no 63/2015 under section 306, 309, 498A has been registered against them.
“We have arrested four persons in the case and they are being questioned. We are collecting all the evidences and will also analyse the call details of the victim’s cell phone. We are exploring all the possibilities and looking for all clues in this case,” said Station House Officer, Khanyar, Rafiq Ahmad.
Mushtaq Ahmad, the Investigating Officer (IO) of the case had earlier said in an interview with a local daily, “The woman ended her life due to pressure from her in-laws. I recorded her statement in SKIMS and she narrated the whole story. She revealed that her mother-in-law and sister-in-law had seen her spraying petrol on her body, but they did not stop her. The victim’s husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-laws claim they are innocent and allege that the woman set herself ablaze. However, we have collected some evidences from the spot of the incident which will be sent for forensic examination.”
Police said the accused are on police remand till October 6. Meanwhile, police is also waiting for postmortem reports.
irfanrashid@risingkashmir.com
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