Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pakistani kills daughter with bungee cord

Sandeela Kanwal, 25, was not happy with the marriage her father arranged.So after the ceremony in Pakistan, she went to Georgia in the US and her husband to Chicago. But her father was not happy with this and after a heated argument with his daughter, Chaudhry Rashid allegedly took a bungee cord, wrapped it around Sandeela's neck and killed her. Shortly after police arrived, officials said, Rashid, 54, suffered a seizure and was taken to the hospital. A few hours later, he was released, transferred to jail and charged with murder. Police officer Timothy Owens said Rashid owns a pizza restaurant in the area. The family lives in a two-story house in a middle class part of Jonesboro, an Atlanta suburb. In Pakistani custom, Kanwal went to Pakistan to marry a Chicago man, also of Pakistani descent. Owens, who said the inquiry was slowed because of the language barrier, said the husband's name was not immediately known. He said Kanwal returned to Jonesboro after the wedding and had not seen her husband since. He said Kanwal lived in her father's house with other relatives, including Rashid's wife, who is not Kanwal's mother. Owens said Kanwal and her father had not spoken in two months because of their dispute about ending the marriage, which in Pakistani culture may have disgraced the family. At Rashid's first court appearance Chief Magistrate Daphne Walker delayed the case because she said she did not feel comfortable conducting the proceedings without an interpreter for Rashid, who speaks Urdu, the main language of Pakistan, and very little English. "Honor killings" and other domestic violence after failed arranged marriages is spreading as some culturally rigid Pakistani and Indian immigrants settle in the US, Chicago sociology professor Najma Adam said. He added between 15 and 20 South Asian women in the Chicago area die or go missing due to domestic violence.

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