" I cannot allow anyone to do this injustice to my daughter. I approached the police after my husband refused to listen to me," Tasawur Bibi, mother.
Kot Shakir police have arrested three men for solemising marriage of a one-year-old child who had earlier been declared wani by a panchayat in a Jhang village.
Those arrested include the groom, 24-year-old Amjad*, groom’s father, Ata Muhammad, and nikahkhwah Allah Ditta*.
Police say they are conducting raids to arrest the child’s father, Fiaz*, and the man who headed the panchayat, Aslam Gujjar*. They have registered a case against the accused under Section 310-A of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the FIR registered by the infant’s mother, Tasawur Bibi, the panchayat had been convened in Kot Shakir village of Athara Hazari tehsil 10 days ago to punish Fiaz.
He had been caught by several villagers with Sakina*, a neighbour, at her house.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Ajmal, Farhan and Rai Ajmal said that they had suspected Fiaz of having an illicit relationship with the woman and had been following him for sometime. They said they had arranged the panchayat together with Sakina’s family members so that Fiaz could be punished.
The panchayat chief, Gujjar, a traffic warden in Jhang, ruled that Fiaz could be pardoned if he agreed to give a woman from his family in marriage to a man from Sakina’s family. Fiaz agreed to hand over his infant daughter to Amjad.
Tasawur Bibi told The Tribune that she could not allow anyone to do this injustice to her daughter. She said approached the police after her husband and in-laws refused to listen to her.
She said after the nikah the groom’s family had taken a promissory note worth Rs300,000 from them when she had refused to hand over her one-year-old daughter. “They insisted that we send the child with them. How can give them my one-year-old daughter? She is too young to be kept away from her mother,” she said.
Station house officer Ismatullah Chaudhary said police were conducting raids for the infant’s father and the panchayat chief. He said if they found evidence they would register a case against Fiaz and Sakina on charges of adultery.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2011.