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An 18 year-old school teacher set ablaze after refusing a marriage proposal in Pakistan

Independent Human Rights Commissionof Pakistan records 76 cases of women being set on fire

  • 18 year-old school teacher based in Punjab province of Pakistan died of burn injuries
  • On June 1, police arrested three people in Islamabad in connection with the killing
  • The provincial government has set up a three-member team to investigate the case

ISLAMABAD- Police reported on Thursday, June 2 that an 18 year-old school teacher based in Punjab province of Pakistan died of burn injuries after she was set on fire for refusing a marriage proposal.

Her family members told that the perpetrators beat Maria Abbasi, then drenched her in petrol and set her ablaze before leaving her for dead, reported CNN.

Maria Abbasi was baby-sitting a younger sister near Murree, Pakistan. Image source: CNN

“Maria was at her home in Murree town baby-sitting her five-year-old sister while her family had gone to attend a funeral in a nearby town,” said Rafaqat Abbasi, her uncle.

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“At the funeral, her family was alerted that she ‘was on fire’. Initially they thought there had been some accident, perhaps a pipe had burst or something.”

Violence on women: A Pakistani teenager Aamna Bibi, seen here as she is taken to hospital on Thursday, has died from her injuries after setting herself on fire when police set free her alleged rapists in 2014. Image source: Reuters
Violence on women: A Pakistani teenager Aamna Bibi, seen here as she is taken to hospital on Thursday, has died from her injuries after setting herself on fire when police set free her alleged rapists in 2014. Image source: Reuters

When the family returned home, they saw Maria lying on the floor, with 85 per cent of her body covered in burns, the uncle said. Maria was taken to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, where she later succumbed on Wednesday.

Nabeela Ghazafar, Punjab Police spokesman said, three people were arrested on Wednesday, June 1 in Islamabad in connection with the killing. An arrest warrant is out for a fourth individual, she added. The provincial government has set up a three-member team to investigate the case.

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According to the report from independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, there have been 76 cases of women being set on fire. Commission also said that violence against women remains rampant in the country.

-prepared by Bhaskar Raghavendran (with inputs from VOA), a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter: bhaskar_ragha

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