Pakistani teenager burnt to death after rejecting marriage proposal

By Radhika Sanghani

Maria Sadaqat Abbasi. Photo: Supplied
Maria Sadaqat Abbasi. Photo: Supplied

An 18-year-old Pakistani woman died after being set on fire for refusing a marriage proposal, police have said. Schoolteacher Maria Sadaqat Abbasi was drenched in petrol and set alight by four men who left her to die.

Abbasi had been babysitting her five-year-old sister in the small village of Davel, outside Murree in northeastern Pakistan, at the time.

Her uncle found her and said: "Maria was lying on the floor, with 85 percent of her body covered in burns.

"We had to carry Maria on a chair to the closest road to get her to an ambulance."

She was taken to a hospital 30 miles away where she eventually died from her injuries.

Her family have said the attack was a direct result of her rejecting a marriage proposal.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the killing, and an arrest warrant is out for a fourth individual, the Murree police have said.

Her mother told the BBC: "They took the revenge by doing this.

"They have taken away my universe, why was she brutally murdered? How can they not feel any compassion?"

Violence against women and honour killings are still rife in Pakistan.

In 2015, police formally investigated 76 cases of women being set on fire, according to the commission's latest report.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in April: "The predominant causes of these killings in 2015 were domestic disputes, alleged illicit relations and exercising the right of choice in marriage."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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