FESCO spokesperson says she probably killed herself over a domestic issue
FAISALABAD: A pregnant woman committed suicide by swallowing acid on Wednesday. She was taken to Allied Hospital, Faisalabad, where doctors managed to save her baby before she breathed her last at the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The Jhang SHO told The Express Tribune that 45-year-old Samina Bibi, wife of Abdul Wahid, a resident of Mohallah Kausar Abad on Jhang Road, had apparently killed herself after she received an inflated electricity bill. He said she was taken to the hospital where she was provided intensive treatment but she succumbed to injuries from the acid she had swallowed.
Abdul Ghafoor, a relative of the woman, told The Express Tribune that Samina Bibi was eight months pregnant. “She was living in abject poverty and could barely feed her two children.” On Wednesday, she received an electricity bill for close to Rs5,000, he said. “There was no way she could afford to pay that amount…her electricity bill had almost never exceeded Rs500.”
Ghafoor said that Samina Bibi became dejected and swallowed acid. Rescue-1122 were informed. They took her to Allied Hospital where she breathed her last. Doctors operated on her and managed to save her child.
Faisalabad Electric Supply Company (FESCO) Spokesperson Tahir Sheikh said it was unlikely that Samina Bibi had committed suicide because of the electricity bill. “It was probably some domestic dispute.”
He said Samina Bibi’s house fell in the Bakkar Mandi Sub Division’s jurisdiction. She was issued an electricity bill of Rs4,525 on a meter installed under Ghulam Muhammad’s name.
He said according to their records, the household had consumed 368 units. “The impression that she committed suicide due to overbilling is false.”
The spokesman said that the FESCO had initiated Mobile Meter Reading in the FESCO region to put an end to complaints of overbilling and wrong billing. Sheikh said that meter readers were told to take a picture of consumers’ meter readings. He said the picture was then printed on the electricity bill so there can be no doubts of bogus billing or overbilling.
Under directives of FESCO CEO Rashid Ahmed Aslam, the Nazimabad Division XEN and the Bakkar Mandi Sub Division SDO visited Samina Bibi’s house and checked the meter reading themselves. Sheikh said that they had found the reading accurate.
“Linking her suicide to the FESCO is misleading,” he said.
Separately on Wednesday, a class nine student shot himself dead in front of the house of a girl who had spurned his advances. Sahianwala police told The Express Tribune that the 16-year-old boy, a resident of Chak 146-JB, had asked a girl out, but she had refused his advances. “On Wednesday, he visited her house and begged her to go out with him…when she refused yet again, he pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.