Poverty-stricken couple commits suicide after days of starvation

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FAISALABAD: In a tragic incident, a poverty-stricken couple committed suicide after they lost all hopes of living a happy and carefree life in Chak No 592 within Kur police station precincts.

A police official told The Express Tribune that 22-year-old Rab Nawaz and his wife Nasreen Bibi, 20, tied-the-knot three years ago and had a two-year-old daughter Sajida. He added Rab Nawaz and his family was living with his parents along with his brother and two sisters in a small mud house in the village.

He said Rab Nawaz was jobless and had been searching work for quite sometime but could not succeed in getting one.

The house where the incident took place. PHOTO: EXPRESS

While speaking to The Express Tribune, couple’s neighbour Niaz Ali said, “On the day of the incident, Rab Nawaz went to Tandlianwala Town, situated 15 kilometres away from the village, to find a job but failed to get any work.”

He added, “When he came home in the evening, he looked disappointed and dejected.”

Niaz maintained that when Rab Nawaz’s wife Nasreen Bibi demanded money to cook food as they were starving for a few days, a heated argument occurred between them.  In a fit of rage, both Rab Nawaz and Nasreen consumed poisonous pills and later breathed their last at the hospital.

A villager Zafar Baloch told The Express Tribune that the family lived in a small home made of mud brick. “They were facing financial constraints and living a hard life.”

He added, “None of the family members, including deceased’s father Salabit Baloch, discussed their situation and always tried to get some work to make ends meet.”

Another neighbour Yameen said, “Rab Nawaz’s father gave him Rs50,000 that he earned during 15 years of hard labour so he could start his own business.” He said, “Unfortunately, all the money was spent on the treatment of his child.”

He pointed out, “Although Rab Nawaz purchased a machine to spray pesticides but it was hard enough to eke out a living as it was a seasonal job.”

He said most of the time, he remained jobless and constant financial stress had made his life miserable. “As a result, his health deteriorated but he kept looking for some work,” he lamented.

When contacted, Kur Police Station SHO Waris Khan told The Express Tribune that the police visited the village and recorded the statements of deceased’s father, brother, Nambardar of the area and some neighbours.

Couple’s only daughter Sajida.

He added they all testified that the couple committed suicide due to poverty.

“On the basis of such statements and declaration given by the parents of the deceased, we will not register a case.”

While expressing concern and sorrow over the incident, a senior rights activist Amina Zaman said, “There are millions of families who are living in poor conditions. The government should make efforts to eradicate poverty from the society but the rulers are only fighting for their own survival.”

She said, “None of the successive governments took comprehensive measures to save the overwhelming poverty ridden population on permanent basis. Such incidents occur frequently and the rulers never bother to think about the welfare of the poor people.”

Similarly, senior lawyer Mian Muhammad Nasir said, “Under Article 6 of the Constitution, it is the mandatory duty of the state to protect the lives of citizens. Not only this, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, in various judgments, laid down a dictum that state is under obligation to eradicate poverty from the society and to provide fair opportunity to every citizen.” He remarked, “This incident is a question mark over the hollow slogans of the Punjab and federal governments which claimed to initiate welfare projects in the country.”

While commenting on the incident, University of Agriculture Pro Vice-Chancellor Muhammad Iqbal Zafar said,   “We should be aware of the fact that the poor class is more prone to family problems and suicides owing to financial crunch.”

He said, “It is high time the authorities concerned should take serious notice of such incidents or else we cannot even think to live in peaceful and conducive atmosphere.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2017.

The post Poverty-stricken couple commits suicide after days of starvation appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Originally Posted on Tribune

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