A 21-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl were allegedly killed for ‘honour’ and then quietly buried without performing their last rites in Peshawar on July 2.
Police officials have arrested three suspects while the victims’ bodies will be examined for further investigations.
Reportedly, a local police personnel said that he had received a tip-off from an informant that 21-year-old Waqas Khairuddin, and a 16-year-old identified as Samina had become victims of honour killing on the night of July 2. The two were then silently buried in unmarked graves, without a proper funeral, in the Dir Colony area of the city.
According to Pakistani media reports, the police official also said that an investigation has been initiated.
The police questioned three suspects identified as Saleh Mohammad, Nooruddin and Shahabuddin. During the investigation, they reportedly confessed to their involvement in the murder. They told the police that Khairuddin and Samina were good friends. Conversely, the girl’s family denied the claim.
Members of the investigation team said that on the day of the incident, the girl's family contacted Khairuddin’s uncle - since his father lives abroad - and expressed their displeasure at their relationship. Subsequently, the uncle allegedly told them that whatever the girl’s family decides, he will accept it.
However, following the assurance, Samina’s uncle allegedly shot both of them dead in their Dir Colony house and fled. Later, the young man and the girl were quietly buried in unmarked graves.
Police said that the girl's father and the man’s uncle are among those who were arrested, while the girl's uncle is on the run.
Officers further said that they will approach the local court to obtain permission to exhume the bodies of the victims, and conduct an autopsy. Police told media that cops were also deployed at both the graves to ensure that the bodies will not be moved by the family.
Honour killings in Pakistan
According to the country's Dawn newspaper, as many as 108 women fell victim to honour killings in the province of Sindh alone in 2019.
Honour killings were outlawed by Pakistan’s legal system but there were loopholes that perpetrators often depended on. In 2016, Pakistan's government closed a loophole allowing those behind honour killings to go free. The New legislation means killers will get a mandatory life sentence.