Pak woman journo commits suicide over non-payment of salary

A young woman journalist allegedly committed suicide by jumping off the roof of a building in this eastern Pakistani city after she was not paid her salary for the past four months, her family and colleagues said on Thursday.

According to the family of 24-year-old Seemab Afzal, she was working as a reporter for the newspaper Anti-Crime.

A colleague, who did not wish to be named, said: "Seemab was not given her salary for the past four months. She decided to take the extreme step on Wednesday when the owner of the daily refused to pay her money".

Afzal, who belonged to Sheikhupura, 40 km from Lahore, lived at a working women's hostel near Chauburji. Quoting a witness, a police official said Afzal jumped off the roof of a building.

People rushed her to Mayo Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead, the witness said. Afzal's cousin Nuzhat, who is also a reporter for the same daily, told police that she had been upset about not getting her salary.

"Her father was also not well. He suffers from cancer and she had to take care of the needs of her younger siblings," Nuzhat said. "On Wedneday, she told me that it would be very difficult for her to go home empty-handed to celebrate Eid," she added.

Inspector Muhammad Zahoor said Afzal and Nuzhat were living in a room in the hostel, arranged by their employer.

He said Afzal's family had alleged that the newspaper's owner had employed the girls fraudulently and had not paid them their salaries.

A case has been registered against the owner of the newspaper though no arrest has been made so far, officials said.

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