The local panchayat ordered the nuptials to ‘avenge’ the girl’s father’s second marriage. PHOTO: APP/ FILE
A 10-year-old girl was forcibly married off to a 50-year-old man Malahanwala, Hafizabad under the ‘vani’ custom to compensate for her father’s second marriage in district.
Muhammad Akram, the girl’s father, had abducted a woman named Munawaran Bibi, whom he later married out of love, reported the police. Muawaran was Akram’s second wife.
Following this, the village ‘panchayat’ (court) decided to give Akram’s daughter’s hand in marriage to Munawaran’s middle-aged brother Falak Sher.
The FIR filed by the girl’s uncle reveals that Falak Sher had barged into Akram’s house along with seven other men, including a prayer-leader from a local mosque, and performed a forced nuptial ritual in the presence of Akram’s first wife.
Mukhtar Hussain, an Investigation Officer in the case informed that the young girl had escaped from Falak Sher’s custody and returned to her parents’ home. The process of raids continues to ensure the immediate arrest of the all the accused nominated in the FIR.
The FIR, registered with Police Station Jalalpur Bhattiaan on Saturday, nominates nine persons including Falak Sher, the prayer leader and seven members of the ‘panchayat.’
The area’s people said that the local administration and police had remained tight lipped and reluctant to take any action against the accused. However, police officials claimed that they had registered a case against the accused without any delay when approached by complainants.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2013.