Modena (Italy), Oct 5 (IANS/AKI) A Pakistani was arrested near this northern Italian city after he allegedly killed his wife when she defending their daughter for refusing an arranged marriage.
Ahmad Khan Butt, a 53-year-old manual worker, allegedly killed his 46-year-old wife Begm Shnez during a violent quarrel after she tried to stop him from killing their 20-year-old daughter Nosheen with a wrench.
Butt's 19-year-old son Humar was also arrested on suspicion of helping his father bludgeon his mother to death with a rock and attack his sister.
Nosheen was left with a severe head wound and was admitted to hospital in a critical condition in nearby Baggiovara di Modena, where she was visited by local politicians.
Neighbours in the suburb of Novi di Modena, where the family lived, reported hearing screams coming from the family's apartment Sunday, but were told by Butt and his son to mind their own business.
The increasingly bitter and violent quarrels had reportedly been going for months in the Butt household after Noshreen incensed her father by opposing an arranged marriage with a cousin.
Italy's equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna announced she intended to act as plaintiff in any trial against Butt.
'This is a way to express solidarity with young women immigrants and to make it clear that our country will always defend them against attacks on their freedom and rights as citizens.
'Whoever commits acts of violence against women or even thinks they can murder cannot stay in our country, because Italy unequivocally rejects any form of abuse of women,' Carfagna said Monday.
She called on Italy's judges to deal severely with such crimes and young women to report them 'to prevent future tragedies'.
Italy's largest Muslim umbrella group UCOII said it deplored Shnez's murder.
'No forced marriage can ever be justified under Islam,' UCOII vice-president Patrizia Khadija Del Monte said on Monday.
'It is truly a cultural scourge with bloody consequences,' she said.
Several 'honour' killings committed by Muslim immigrants have shocked Italy in the past few years. The most recent was of an 18-year-old Moroccan girl, Sanaa, who was stabbed to death by her father, Moroccan immigrant El Ketaoui Dafani, for having a love affair with a 32-year-old Italian man.