In another case of harrowing domestic abuse culminating in police brutality, a woman set on fire by her husband and in laws in Gujranwala succumbed to her wounds in Lahore’s Mayo Hospital yesterday. When the family began to protest their daughter’s tragic death, the police, violating the dignity of the dead, hauled the body in a police van and took it to Gujranwala. The family will have no choice but to claim the body in their home village and abandon the protest.

The passing of the Women Protection Bill may have been a monumental step towards change, but the manner in which violence against women is entrenched deep within the fabrication of society as well as governance, makes its implementation a mammoth task. The most important impediment, to ensure that the women of this country live with dignity, respect and without fear constantly clouding their lives, is to root out this culture of police brutality and corruption. Criminals exist in every shape and form, but if they know they will not be apprehended and that the police is open to bribery and collusion, there is no chance that there will ever be justice for the weak.

The Ferozwala police in this particular case had registered an attempted murder case against the husband and his relatives on the complaint of the victim’s father. The accused have already secured pre-arrest bails from the local courts with the help of police investigators. If the police had taken action against the consistent torture against this poor woman in the first place, she would be alive and well today. If perpetrators of such heinous crimes continue to evade the law, then there is no purpose of rejoicing a law that is only good for filling statutory books.