Violence against women by family members major cause of burns

Khadijah Shah

KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Incidents of violence against women by family members in which women are burned, raped and killed continue to escalate in the country. Two such cases recently surfaced at the Friends of Burns Centre (FOBC) in the Civil Hospital, Karachi.

Rubina, aged 22, was married about one and a half year ago as per the wishes of her father, Noor-ul-Bashar. She was only married for 15 days when she started facing problems. “Rubina’s husband, Muhammad Hussain owned a small pan hut and was not related to us. It was a petty issue on which he burnt my sister,” alleged Rubina’s sister, Rozina while talking to ROD on Friday adding that she does not know what he does for a living right now. However, she said that Rubina and Noor-ul-Bashar were having misunderstandings since the start of their marriage.

Rubina is the second eldest amongst nine siblings. Rubina was brought to the FOBC on September 28 on a referral from the Jinnah Hospital. Anonymous sources told Daily Times that she was burnt on September 21 and the case was neither registered nor highlighted due to social norms and values.

Forty percent of Rubina’s body was burned when her husband set her on fire using gasoline. Almost five percent of her face was burnt which may permanently damage her eyesight. Two percent of her neck, nine percent of her anterior trunk, seven percent of her post interior, eight percent of her right arm and nine percent of her left arm were also burnt. In another case, Kalsoom, aged 28, was also set ablaze by her husband who used gasoline oil. Kalsoom has two minor children.

The husband, Abdul Jabber, was trapped by Kalsoom’s family from Lyari and was handed to the police on October 16, another source told ROD.

Ferhan Mazher
Chairman (Rays of Development Organization, Sargodha, Pakistan)

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