Pictured above: The actual canal in Thikriwala, Punjab Province Pakistan where the bodies were located. Photo courtesy of: Fox17online
Aqsa Shakeel, 26, a pregnant Pakistan health care worker, has been killed
Aqsa and her husband Muhammed invited family over to their home
Members of Aqsa’s family allegedly kidnapped, tortured and killed them
They then tossed the bodies into a canal near the village in Pakistan
Aqsa’s family disapproved of her marriage to Muhammed
This ‘honor killing’ is a part of rising violence against women in Pakistan
A pregnant woman in Pakistan and her husband were found dead in a canal with gunshot wounds to the head, according to authorities.
Aqsa Shakeel, 26, a healthcare worker, and her husband, Muhammad Shakeel, 30, were having family visit when they were allegedly kidnapped from their home in Thikriwala, a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
An argument broke out between the family and the couple, police say, because Aqsa’s family disapproved of her four-year marriage to Muhammed, who worked in a government school.
Aqsa’s brother, named as Muhammad Mauvia, and her mother, Majeeda Bibi, are believed to have been a part of the group who snatched the couple from the home on Wednesday.
Police began a search for the couple when Muhammed’s father, Muhammed Kushi, reported the couple missing.
Their bodies were later discovered in a canal near the village the following day.
An autopsy revealed the couple had been tortured before being shot in the head and tossed in the water.
So far only one relative has been arrested, CNN reported.
M Khawar was taken into custody for the alleged murder and other relatives, including Aqsa’s mother and brother, are believed to be on the run.
Although this case is considered a murder case by police, there have been a recent surge of ‘honor killings’ in Pakistan, CNN reported.
Honor killings are a tribal and cultural practice used as punishment for bringing dishonor to a family.
It is also the second time in June a pregnant woman has been killed by her family, it is believed.
Another pregnant woman was killed by relatives in eastern Pakistan because she, too, married someone against the family’s wishes.
Muqaddas Tawfeeq was married for three years and eight months pregnant when her mother ‘dragged her away’ from a maternity clinic, where the woman was having a checkup.
Once her mother ‘dragged’ her back to her home, her brother slit the pregnant woman’s throat.
Another honor killing, this time of a teenager, happened days after Tawfeeq’s death.
A man beat his teenage sister to death with a wooden stick because he didn’t want her to marry her boyfriend.
Yousuf Masih, the girl’s father, said the family opposed the marriage because the families are relatives.
‘They started arguing. He hit her with the stick, he has no intention to kill her. Things just got out of hand, he reacted in anger. In the end, I guess it did become an issue of honor,’ Masih told CNN.
However, honor killings in Masih’s area, which is a part of Pakistan’s Christian community, is very rare.
A woman and her son killed a teen by burning her to death after the girl eloped against their wishes.
In the first five months of this year more than 200 women have died in ‘honor killings’.
This violence is part of an increasing trend of attacks on women in Pakistan, the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported.