Pakistani rape victim dies after self-immolating
Teen student was frustrated with police investigation
A gang rape victim died of severe burn wounds on Friday, a day after self-immolating herself outside a police station in protest at the investigation into the attack in Punjab province.
The 18-yeal-old student was allegedly subjected to the sex attack in the presence of her younger brother on her way back home from college in Jatoi in the Muzaffargarh district earlier this year.
Local news reports quoted the girl’s mother saying that her daughter was raped after she turned down a wedding proposal by the rapist.
When a local court granted bail to the main suspect on Thursday, the girl lodged a protest with police accusing the investigating officer of favoring the rapist in his case report.
She later poured gasoline over her body and set herself on fire outside the police station, again in the presence of her younger brother.
She was rushed to Nishtar Hospital in Multan where she died of her wounds.
Dr Pervaiz Ahmed, director of emergency services at the hospital, said that 80 percent of the girl’s body was severely burned.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has ordered a probe into the incident.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan also registered notice of the girl’s death and summoned the Punjab police chief, the advocate-general and other top officials to appear in court on Monday.
Lead Pakistani rights activist Mukhtaran Mai, who extended legal assistance to the girl’s family, slammed the police over her death.
“I appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to set a precedent by handing a harsh punishment to the rapist as well as the police,” the visibly-upset Mai told ucanews.com. “What kind of justice it is that the rapist walked free while the girl was forced to take her own life in frustration?”
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