A Pakistani bride has killed seventeen relatives with poison milk in an effort to escape an arranged marriage, police say.
Asia Bibi, 21, started conspiring to kill her husband with her boyfriend, Shahid Lashari, after her parents forced her to marry in September, authorities say.
Aasia Bibi, 21, and her boyfriend, Shahid Lashari, are presented to journalists, at a police station in Muzaffargarh, Pakistan, on Monday. (Iram Asim/AP)
“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,” the AP quoted Bibi as saying.
She had warned them she was willing to do anything to get out of the marriage, she added, but they refused to permit a divorce, according to ITV.
According to local police chief Sohail Habib Tajak, Bibi was desperate to get out of the wedding arrangement so she went to her boyfriend, Shahid Lashari, who gave her a “poisonous substance.”
Bibi then laced a container of milk with it and unsuccessfully tried to get her husband, 25-year-old Amjad Akram, to drink it, police say.
The woman’s mother-in-law unknowingly used the spiked milk to make lassi, a yogurt-based drink popular in South Asia. It was then served to 27 members of his family.
Bibi’s husband and 17 of his relatives were killed. Another 10 family members remain hospitalized.
“This incident took place last week and our officers have made progress by arresting a woman and her lover in connection with this murder case, which was complicated and challenging for us,” Tajak said.
Lashari’s aunt was also arrested and charged with murder.
Last week, Tajak said, Bibi mixed the poison in milk and gave it to her husband, but he refused to drink it.
At some point after — and it’s not exactly clear how — Bibi’s mother-in-law used the tainted milk to make lassi, a yogurt-based drink popular in South Asia. When she served it to 27 members of her extended family, all of them lost consciousness and were hospitalized.
Bibi and Lashari were arrested on murder charges shortly afterward. Neither had lawyers, the AP reported.
Aasia denies the allegation and says the other man told her to poison the lassi but she didn’t & he asked her to marry him but she refused pic.twitter.com/WXsATbLVPw
— Naila Inayat (@nailainayat) November 1, 2017