A newlywed in Pakistan who was upset with her arranged marriage is accused of killing 17 members of her husband’s extended family in a failed attempt to poison him. The 21-year-old bride, identified as Aasia Bibi, has been arrested on murder charges, the Associated Press reports.
Bibi married the man, who she described as a “relative,” in September. She wanted to marry another man, but her family forced the marriage with her current husband.
“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 and they married me to a relative,” Bibi told reporters Tuesday (Oct. 31) after appearing before a judge alongside her boyfriend whose face was covered so as to not embarrass his family.
She reportedly warned her parents that she would do whatever it took to get out of the marriage, if they wouldn’t allow her to divorce. The incident occurred last week in remote village near a small town around the eastern Punjab province.
A day before carrying out the poison plot, Bibi ran away to her parents’ house and begged them to let her stay. Her parents forced her to return home where she put a poisonous substance that she apparently received from her boyfriend, Shahid Lashari, into her husband’s milk and offered it to him.
He refused the drink it, but his mother unknowingly used the poisonous milk to make yogurt lassis that she served to more than two dozen members of their extended family. At least 17 people died from the drink, while 10 remain hospitalized, according to NPR.
Bibi initially denied the attempting poisoning, but later confessed. Police also arrested Lashari and his aunt for their roles in helping her carry out the plot.
Bibi showed remorse for the fatalities.