A 21-year-old woman in Pakistan, Aasia Bibi, has been charged with murder after she inadvertently killed 17 members of her extended family through a plot meant to kill her husband.
In September, Bibi was forced into an arranged marriage with Amjad Akram, 25. Associated Press reported that Bibi said, “I repeatedly asked my parents not to marry me against my will as my religion, Islam, also allows me to choose the man of my choice for marriage, but my parents rejected all of my pleas.” Two months into their marriage Bibi tried to run away to her parents’ house only to be forcibly held at home with Akram. ITV reported that Bibi’s parents refused to authorize a divorce, despite her saying she would do anything to get out of the marriage.
Into the marriage, Bibi maintained her relationship with her boyfriend, Shahid Lashari. According to police, Lashari provided her with a substance meant to kill Akram. Bibi tried to lace a glass of milk with the poison, said to be meant for rats, but Akram refused to drink it. At that point her mother-in-law then used the milk in a dish she made for 27 members of the family.
17 members of the family were poisoned and killed while the others were rushed to the hospital and are still in critical condition.
District police chief Sohail Habib Tajak told Associated Press that Lashari confessed to having provided Bibi with the substance.
ITV reported that District Police Officer, Malik Owais Ahmed said, “When police established the suspicion that this is not a case of using contaminated lassi but it is a case of homicide and a case of intentional murder then police arrested her and her lover.”
Bibi and Lashari went before a judge in Muzaffargarh and she told reporters that she was upset over her parents’ decision to force her into an arranged marriage. Neither Lashari or Bibi had lawyers. As of press time, there is no word on their sentencing.
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