Woman flees ‘abusive family’
ISLAMABAD, May 02 2006: A mother of three has sought help of the government to free her from alleged tyranny of her in-laws and husband. Saima Batool, 25, a resident of Choa Saidan Shah, Chakwal, had sought protection from the local union councillors who, after failing to make the family mend its ways, took her to the non- governmental Pattan Development Organisation active in the area.
Pattan activist Farzana Bari told Dawn that Batool said she was being raped by her father-in-law and beaten frequently by her husband who also tried to set her on fire. She has now been brought to Islamabad. Ms Bari quoted her as saying that her mother-in-law knew about her sexual abuse but kept silent. Finally she could not take it any more and ran away from her husband’s home on April 27.
Ms Batool said she did not want to live with her husband as her life was in danger. She wanted legal action against her husband, Imtiaz Shah. Local councillors said they approached the area police to lodge a complaint against Imtiaz Shah but it did not register a case. “I want divorce because I cannot live with him in such circumstances. I do not need even my children, because they all hate me, as their father had brainwashed them against me,” Batool said.
She said she was married to Imtiaz Shah, a coal miner, some seven years ago and bore him four children, one of whom died. It was an unhappy life for her as Imtiaz Shah started questioning her character soon after their marriage. Batool alleged her husband used to beat her mercilessly. “He used to tie me with rope and thrashed me and denied me food and water,” she said. On April 13 she suffered serious injuries from such beating but local elders struck a patch-up. But soon afterwards Shah, in a particularly nasty mood, sprinkled oil on her and showed a match.
But the elders came to her rescue and shifted her to a hospital. Since the family continued to torture her even there, she ran away from the hospital and sought protection from local government bodies. General Councillor UC-39 Haji Sajjad Hussain and tehsil councillors Razia Amjad and Rubina took her to Pattan’s office Chakwal