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Wednesday Sep 13 2017

Karachi ‘honour killing’: Authorities exhume couple’s bodies for examination


KARACHI: Authorities on court orders conducted exhumation on Wednesday of the bodies of the couple which was killed last month by their families for eloping.

Forensic experts, including MLA Samia Saeed, Dr Fateh Mirza and Dr Qarar Abbas, started exhumation in the presence of a magistrate.

Experts said the bodies had marks on their legs, heads and shoulders due to electrocution.

The couple fell foul of their families after eloping last month from the city’s Ibrahim Haideri area on August 14. But police said the man´s family persuaded them to return home so they could be married.

A tribal jirga (council) then ordered the couple´s execution after the families had put their case to the influential group of elders.

The couple were tied to a wooden bed and electrocuted by family members last month. Police said the girl was aged 15 or 16 and the man was around 18 years old.

"The (jirga) decided that the girl would be electrocuted by her own father and uncle and the boy by his father and uncle," police officer Amanullah Marwat told AFP, adding that the families later buried the bodies in secret.

Police have arrested the relatives behind the killings, charging them with murder and tampering with evidence.

However the leader of the jirga who ordered the murders remains at large.

"We are raiding different places to arrest him," Marwat said.

Hundreds of women are murdered by their relatives each year after allegedly bringing shame on their families in Pakistan.

Under the previous legislation, the culprits could escape punishment if they were pardoned by members of their family.

But in July last year the high-profile murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch, whose brother confessed to the killing, reignited calls for reform.

Parliament has since passed a law aimed at scrapping the ability to forgive "honour" killers. But critics contend some loopholes still exist.

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