Woman set alight by husband, in-laws dies during treatment

One Shahabuddin along with his sister Seemab and niece Mahnoor allegedly set his wife Muneeba on fire in Akbarpura’s Khandar village, Nowshera on April 24. Muneeba was rushed to the burn ward of the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar but succumbed to her injuries on Monday, April 26.

According to the deceased’s uncle Islam Gul, she was married to Shahabuddin some six months ago and was regularly tortured and abused by her husband, Seemab and Mahnoor. Muneeba subsequently returned to her father’s home, however returned to her husband on April 24 on her family’s insistence.

That same day, Islam Gul alleges, Muneeba was once again tortured by the three accused and then doused with fuel and set on fire. She remained in severe pain for while under treatment in Peshawar for three days before passing away. Police have registered a case against the three accused on the complaint of the deceased’s uncle and launched an investigation.

Hindu community seeks possession of temple

Sham Lal, Chair of the Shiv Temple Society, and Sajan Lal on Monday petitioned the Mansehra District and Sessions Court to register a case against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) minority Senator Sardar Gurdweep Singh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa MPA Ravi Kumar for allegedly illegally taking possession of the Shawala Temple (also known as Shiv Temple) in Ghandian, Mansehra.

Sham Lal provided that as Chair of the Shiv Temple Society, he is responsible for looking after the nearly 3,000-year-old temple and its affairs. He also stated that the temple is the sole place of worship for the Hindu community in the area, which has been in regular use for centuries.

The plaintiffs claimed that on March 19, Sham Lal and his family were barred entry to the temple by a police constable stationed to guard the site. Both Senator Singh and MPA Kumar were present at the site, claiming that the temple was their private property and that Sham Lal and his family were trespassing. The petitioners further alleged that the accused officials tore out the Shiv Temple Society sign and took it with them.

The applicants provided that they went to the Buffa police station to register a case, however they were instructed by the Station House Officer (SHO) to visit tomorrow. Upon returning to the relevant police station, the SHO presented Sham Lal and his son with a copy of a false FIR, at which the complainants registered their protest but eventually left with the FIR copy in tow.

However, the SHO ordered the plaintiff to return and forcibly took back the FIR copy, and then threatened him complainant of bodily harm if he visited the temple. The complainant subsequently lodged a written complaint with the Hazara Deputy Inspector General (DIG) on March 22, a copy of which was also provided to the Buffa SHO however no action has been taken in this regard as of late.

The plaintiffs’ counsel Zafar Iqbal argued before the court that they have been barred from performing their religious duties by the respondents, which is a direct violation of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 which guarantees freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions.

Journalists boycott Balochistan Assembly session over Raisani murder

Journalists under the banner of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) boycotted Monday’s session of the Balochistan Assembly in protest of the murder of Daily Azadi journalist Abdul Wahid Raisani. Raisani was gunned down by unknown assailants duing an alleged mugging in the Bank Colony area of Quetta on the evening of April 24.

Protesting journalists gathered outside the Balochistan Assembly and held placards, calling for the immediate arrest of the slain youth’s murderers. Provincial Minister for Education in Balochistan Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind expressed solidarity with the protesters and assured of the provincial government’s support and cooperation.