Aimen held her baby to her chest as her brothers buried them alive

Even days after his death, Sughra Bibi folds and puts away her grandson’s clothes as if he is still alive.

One month old grandson, Hussain Ali and his 21 year old mother Aimen were brutally murdered on February 9, by his own maternal uncles before being buried in the open field.

Hussain was mercilessly bashed against the ground by his uncles, his mother was shot in the face and the belly.

Even then Sughra Bibi believes that both mother and child were alive when they were buried because when their bodies were unearthed, Aimen lay holding her one month old baby close to her chest.

“They have uprooted our lives, they destroyed our peace,” lamented Sughra Bibi. “My daughter-in-law and grandson were possibly alive when (the brothers) buried them because when my son retrieved the corpses, my daughter-in-law was clutching her baby against her bosom. The dead cannot do such a thing, they stay the same where the lie.”

“My son retrieved the bodies that lay under the earth for 18 whole days, God knows what suffering they had to bear. My son brought his innocent child in pieces in a box. I want justice and nothing else.”

The incident took place in Kot Addu, a subdivision of Muzaffargarh, where Aimen was staying at her in-laws after the birth of her son.

Aimen’s brother-in-law Tariq says that after they abducted her, Aimen’s brothers took her to their farm lands in Alipur, killing them that very night. Mercilessly they were thrown inside a ditch, first the mother then her child.

“(Awais and Farooq) shot her twice, in her eye and stomach,” explained Tariq, Aimen’s brother-in-law. “They first swung the baby and whacked him on the ground. Then they strangled him. They say that they couldn’t tell if the child was still alive by then…”

“They dug a pit and, they said, the mother was still breathing so they quickly tossed her into the ditch and buried her.”

That was the only funeral they got.

The police say that Aimen’s brothers, Awais and Farooq are both known criminals. They have been charged for grave offences in nearly 10 separate cases.

Even though the FIR against the brothers was lodged for Aimen and Hussain’s abduction, the police is now adding honour killing charges to it.

“This is an honour-killing, the girl was killed in the name of honour,” stated SDPO Kot Addu Ejaz Bukhari. “Section 311 of the PPC, which penalises crimes committed in the name of honour, has been charged against the accused in this case.”

We are doing everything in our power to ensure that investigation and all proceedings are carried out in full; I am personally supervising the investigation. Considering the injustice done to Mukhtiar, and the way his wife and child were butchered, a settlement cannot and should not be arranged.” spoke to the culprits who are currently in physical remand. They unashamedly admitted murdering Aiman and even Hussain Ali for honour.

“We killed her for honour, there was no other reason. She had a love marriage and left, that’s why we killed her,” Awais asserted.

Aimen had been fearful for her life ever since she had eloped with Mukhtiar Hussain a year ago – offending her two brothers Awais and Farooq. The two felt that their honour had been defiled and had been promising revenge.

But when Aimen bore a baby boy, she saw a ray of hope. Maybe upon seeing their nephew, her brothers’ hearts would melt. She cherished dreams of mending their relationship and being accepted by them after she ran away and married Mukhtiar Hussain of her own choice. Mukhtiar himself lived in a different city where he worked as a clerk, and so Aimen lived alone.

On the night of February 9th, Aimen’s worst fears were realized when her brothers arrived at her doorstep, strapped with weapons, and abducted her and her child.

“Those two grabbed my daughter-in-law. I ran into the room where the child lay sleeping under a blanket. I had hoped they would at least leave the baby alone but they snatched my grandson right out from the blanket and dangled him from their hands. He was not wearing anything warm,” Sughra Bibi, Aimen’s mother-in-law, recalled the fateful night the girl and her newborn son were ripped away from her.

“I desperately called after them, I demanded to know what they were going to do him. They said they were taking him with them. My precious grandson was a month and 6 days old. My daughter-in-law tried to give the child milk but (the kidnappers) knocked the bottle out of her hand.”

Now plagued with misery, Mukhtiar Hussain has resolved to go to any extent to ensure that his wife’s brothers are punished.

“I dug out my wife and child’s bodies myself so I could burn in my memory what (Awais and Farooq) had done to them,” he said in between long and forlorn pauses. “Only I know in what circumstances I recovered them. When I took my son’s hand, it came out right in my palm.”

In 2016, Pakistan passed a law that made honour-killing non-compoundable offense, however since 2017 there have been a reported 1000 incidents of honour-killing in the country.

“This is not honour,” decried Sughra Bibi. “Honour would have been if they took their sister with them and talked it out with her, told her that she made a mistake and they forgave her. Have they not made any mistakes themselves? They have 20 or so criminal charges against them; when they were out looting and burgling, what about their honour then? Why did they demand honour when it concerned my daughter-in-law? They have destroyed my peace and ruined their lives as well – they will not be saved, my grandson’s curses be upon them.”

دیکھئے ہماری رپورٹ اردو زبان میں