Two Pakistani women who fell afoul of their community elders over marriage were actually stoned to death and not buried alive, it is now reported.
Postmortem of the bodies of the two from Bab Kot area of Nasirabad district in Balochistan province revealed that they had been done to death brutally. A goon squad had set upon them with some heavy instruments, stones and logs, feels police surgeon Dr Shamim Gul Mashwani, who led the autopsy team.
"It was the head injuries that had led to their death," Dr Shamim said and noted that the skulls of the women were found broken. Also the women had been buried without a shroud (Kafan).
There were no bullet marks on the bodies, clearly showing they had not been shot at, as some reports had said.
Dr.Mashwani also denied reports that the women, aged between 20 and 25 years, were buried alive. "We didn't get any such indications at all," she said.
The bodies were found buried in a two-foot deep ditch and were apparently hurled there after the two women were bludgeoned to death. Some parts of the bodies had been nibbled at by animals and they were found in a highly decomposed stage when the bodies were exhumed.
The doctors' team also collected pieces of skulls and samples of blood and hair of the women for DNA tests.
Police sources said the fate of third woman who was also whisked away by armed men on the fateful day was unknown as no grave had been found.
A police official felt she might have escaped the killers but was remaining underground as she dreaded the still furious tribal elders would put her to death.
The dispute was over the marriage of three girls. In all five women are believed to have disappeared after they were abducted in July last.
The fear the zealots still inspire in their area can be gauged from the fact none would come forward to receive the exhumed bodies for ritual burial. And thus after so much international publicity.
Three suspects have been arrested so far, and two inspectors of police in the area have been suspended for negligence. Only after media reports and court intervention was a case registered, it is reported.
Interestingly, the alleged mastermind behind the crime, brother of a senior politician of the region, still remains at large.