PESHAWAR / ABBOTABAD: A woman was drugged, strangled and then her body set ablaze because she helped her friend elope, police said Thursday, announcing the arrest of 14 people in a twist on the grim practice of “honour killings”.
Ambreen, believed to be around 20 years old, was killed then burned in a Suzuki van on the orders of the village jirga (council) in Makol on April 29, District Police Officer Khurram Rasheed told AFP.
“Police have arrested 13 members of the jirga who ordered the murder of the girl,” Rasheed said. The victim’s mother was also arrested, he said, because she supported the jirga’s decision.
The 14 are due to appear in a local anti-terrorism court Thursday on murder and terrorism charges, he said.
“Police have traced the accused through mobile data and they were picked up one after another. The accused confessed during the investigation that a few months back Saima, a school girl from the same village and tribe, eloped with her boyfriend and Ambreen facilitated their frequent meetings and later their elopement,” the DPO said.
The police officer while sharing the statements of accused said: “In order to discuss the elopement of Saima, a village jirga was convened at the house of Naseer Ahmed on April 28 that was headed by Pervez, the village council nazim and the master mind of the girl burning case.”
The owner of the van was also a member of the jirga. His van was burned because the eloping woman — who is believed to be safely in hiding — travelled in it when she ran away.
The jirga members, who all are known for their bad characters, according to the DPO, condemned the role of Ambreen and Naseer and later after long deliberations, decided that punishment of elopement of Saima and facilitation should be so severe that no girl could ever dare to run away in future.