A 25-year-old Christian woman in Sialkot, Pakistan who spurned the advances of a Muslim man named Rizwan Gujjar (30 yrs) was the target of a heinous acid attack that has left her disfigured and fighting for her life.
Asma Yacoob has been employed as a beautician for the last two years and was making a good living due to her expert knowledge and fantastic styling technique.
Her brother Nabeel Yaqoob (23 yrs) worked as a panaflex-maker (banner print-worker) and met Rizwan Gujjar there, over a period of time they became very good friends and Rizwan would often visit Nabeel at his family home. It was during the visits to the Yacoob family home that Rizwan developed his fatal attraction for Asma; a secret desire for her would ultimately ended in violence.
Asma was friendly to Rizwan because he was her brother’s close friend, but 3 months ago when Rizwan attempted to take their acquaintance further by directly proposing that Asma marry him, she recoiled and refused his advances. However, she did not shame him by reporting the misstep to her family out of concern her brother would be angered by his friend’s impropriety and come to danger.
Rizwan then adopted a very harsh attitude with Asma and unable to control his feeling of inadequacy he plotted to attack her for the slight he felt. In the meantime, Asma also became increasingly uncomfortable with the weird behaviour that Rizwan began to display, ignoring and avoiding him whenever he came to the family home.
On 10th April Asma left her home to provide her beautician services to a bride in Pak Pura town, Sialkot. Around 11pm while she was preparing hairstyles for a number of women, she was told by a member of the bride’s family that her brother had arrived at the venue and was seeking her attention.
Not expecting any problems, she walked up to the courtyard gate to meet her brother but found Rizwan was there instead having used her brother’s name as a pretext to meet with her.
Rizwan did not wait a moment and with a quick reflex covered Asma with large amounts of acid, he then lit the flammable solution so that Asma began to burn and fled the scene of the attack. Asma screamed as a sharp pain and flames engulfed her but the bride’s family put out the flames and took Asma rapidly to the nearby Civil Hospital.
At Civil Hospital Asma’s family were told that Asma had little chance for survival because she had suffered 90% burns and the hospital had no special burns unit. Clinging to life and travelling hundreds of kilometres in an ambulance Asma was taken to Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
By some miracle the young woman has survived and has been admitted to Mayo Hospital for 10 days now. She is recovering slowly and will be kept in hospital for some time yet as doctors fear even the slightest infection will terminate her frail life.
Asma’s family had lodged an FIR in Haji Pura Police Station on the day of the incident and police arrested Rizwan the very next day. The police seem to be undertaking a proper investigation and it is hoped that Rizwan will be prosecuted but that of course will never help Asma heal from her wounds. Pakistan Christian Post.
Remember to keep Asma and her family in prayers.