In a first-of-its-kind incident in Kabul, which has shaken the collective conscience of the nation, a 23-year-old man set himself ablaze to protest against the harassment of women in this country.
The shocking incident happened earlier this week in front of the presidential palace when a university student, out of sheer hopelessness and disenchantment, torched himself. Feroz, a student of law at Rahnaward University in northern Mazar e Sharif, loved Zohra, a student at Ariana University in Kabul. They had been seeing each other for many years and had decided to settle down after graduation from university.
Everything was going well until the hell broke loose. Zohra, 19, was abducted by a group of local gangsters in Kabul recently and taken to an undisclosed location. She was allegedly gang-raped for 15 days before allowed to go. The officials at Ariana University, where she is studying, confirmed the incident. Zohra, 19, was abducted by a group of local gangsters in Kabul recently and taken to an undisclosed location; she was allegedly gang-raped for 15 days before allowed to go.
The news reached Feroz in Mazar e Sharif, who frantically rushed to Kabul and approached government and security officials for justice. His efforts proved futile as nobody paid heed to his pleas. Disillusioned and devastated, Feroz decided to end his life.
He left a note for his family that he is setting himself on fire in protest against official callousness and indifference. A few days ago, he walked to presidential palace in the highly-fortified zone of Kabul and set himself ablaze. Despite the efforts to save him, Feroz succumbed to death.
His death has caused huge embarrassment to the government and security agencies who have been held responsible for his death. His father, Abdul Saboor, says he sacrificed his life to send a strong message across that women in this country continue to suffer harassment and persecution. “His death is a wake-up call to all those who believe everything is hunky dory in this country, and who chose not to speak against women’s harassment,” says the victim’s father.
Meanwhile, according to Kabul police, two suspects have been arrested in the case that has drawn tremendous anger and outrage across the country. “It is really unfortunate that a young life has been wasted like this, and I told government and security agencies responsible for his death,” says Parvez Hameedy, a resident of Kabul.
Mariam Hameedi, a social activist, says there should be a probe on it. “Why didn’t security officials respond to him when he approached them, there should be a probe and the cops must be suspended,” she says.
Read original Afghan Zarizal report February 20, 2015 HERE