Karachi Teen Couple Electrocuted In Honour Killing

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Karachi police say the bodies of a teenage Pakistani couple feared murdered in an “honour killing” bear marks suggesting they were electrocuted.

15-year-old Bakht Jan and her boyfriend 17-year-old Rehman were planning to elope but their families found out and tribal elders ordered them killed, according to police.

Officials exhumed the bodies of the two a month after they were buried.

Doctors, police officers and a magistrate were present at the graveside in Karachi. Post-mortem results are awaited.

Four people have been arrested following the killing, including the fathers of the couple. Police are also trying to trace the whereabouts of the head of the tribal council (or jirga).

Rao Anwaar, district police head, told the media that an “informer” had told the police about the killings and burials.

He added that the bodies exhumed at Mauladad graveyard in Sherpao Colony on Wednesday had marks on the arms, chest and legs that were signs of electrocution.

“There were visible signs of electric shock and torture on both bodies,” said Civil Hospital Karachi Additional Police Surgeon Dr Qarar Ahmed Abbasi.

Honour killings are on the rise in Pakistan, according to human rights groups. In most parts of the country, women are not allowed to liaise or contract marriage with men without approval of their families, and they are often the victims in the killings.

This particular case involved people of the Pashtun Safi tribe from the north-western tribal region of Mohmand.

Zia Ur Rehman, a local reporter who broke the story, said that the family had initially reached a settlement in accordance with tribal traditions but it was not approved by the jirga.

“Under the settlement, the couple were to wed and the boy’s family would give the hand of two of its women in marriage to two men of the girl’s family as the price of honour,” he said.

“But a jirga called to endorse this settlement on 15 August rejected it and ordered the couple to be killed as a lesson to others.”

Aman Marwat, a local police offer, said the relatives who were arrested told of how “both the victims were drugged and then given electric shocks after being tied to a cot”.

He added that Bakht Jan left her home secretly on 14 August, but her family found her hours later at a nearby house waiting for her Rehman, who had not yet arrived.

Officer Marwat said, “The girl was killed on 15 August, and the boy was killed the next day.”

According to an April 2016 report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, nearly 1,100 women were killed in Pakistan in 2015 by relatives who believed they had dishonoured their families.

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