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Case against accused: 11-year-old married to landlord over 50

BAHAWALNAGAR: Police have registered a case, but only on the order of the chief minister, against those involved in the forced marriage of an 11-year-old girl to a 50-year-old landowner.

Landowner Muhammad Iqbal of Kat Ganga Singh village forcibly got married 11-year-old Asia, daughter of his peasant Manzoor, to his 50-year old brother Muhammad Fayyaz allegedly to avenge the elopement of his daughter with Manzoor’s nephew a few weeks ago.

Iqbal’s brother Fayyaz has eight children from his first wife.

Though Manzoor searched out the eloping couple, returned Iqbal’s daughter Naureen to him and tendered an apology for what his nephew did, Iqbal committed violence against Manzoor’s wife and daughters and stripped them.

Later, he called a marriage solemniser and nikah registrar at his house and forced minor Asia’s marriage to elderly Fayyaz. Iqbal also kept Manzoor and his family in confinement at his outhouse for the ‘crime’ the latter’s nephew committed.

A few days later Manzoor’s wife, who was allegedly tortured by Iqbal, gave birth to a premature baby because of the torture.

Manzoor fled from Iqbal’s confinement and approached the district police officer and other officials for the release of his family, but to no avail. Finally, he reached Lahore and moved his complaint to chief minister’s camp office in Model Town.

The chief minister’s office took up his application and directed the Bahawalnagar DPO to look into the incident immediately. On receiving directions from the chief minister’s office, the DPO rushed to Madressah Police Station, looked into the incident and ordered a case against the culprits under sections 376, 354/A and 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

However, no one named in the FIR had been arrested till Tuesday night.
Source: Dawn
Date:5/27/2009

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