Pakistan woman electrocuted to death for eloping

Islamabad: A young woman accused of eloping with her cousin was electrocuted on the orders of a 'panchayat' in Pakistan's Punjab province, prompting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to direct authorities to probe the incident.

Saima, 22, a resident of Mouza Hakra in Bahawalpur district, was reportedly electrocuted by her relatives after they forcibly separated her from her cousin Dilawar, with whom she had eloped to Karachi.

However, police officials said Saima's parents had claimed that she had committed suicide by consuming poison as she was unhappy over plans for her arranged marriage.

After receiving a tip-off, police conducted a raid and took Saima's body into custody while it was being taken to a graveyard yesterday.

They also arrested Saima's father Abdul Majeed and four others.

The body has been sent for an autopsy. Taking "serious notice" of the woman's death, Prime Minister Gilani today directed the Punjab Police chief to "immediately submit a report regarding the incident," said a statement issued by Gilani's office.