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Family attacks lawyer after girl contracts freewill marriage

Naila’s relatives tried to kidnap her attorney from outside the court

BAHAWALPUR: The family of newly-wed girl attacked her lawyer on Saturday after she married according to her free will in court. According to eye-witnesses other lawyers in Bahawalpur reached the scene where the girl’s family was trying to kidnap her attorney Malik Rasheed.

A large brawl broke out between Busti Mastian resident Naila’s family and members of the district bar. Police officials arrived at the scene and arrested seven people and the district bar announced its decision to go on strike on Saturday. “At least a dozen men were engaged in the brawl when we arrived on the scene and separated them,” said Police Inspector Malik Kareem.

According to the police Busti Mastian resident Naila wed a boy named Haider a few days ago. “My family was against the match so we both decided to wed in court and engaged the help of a lawyer,” Naila later told the police.

Naila’s family initially filed an abduction case against Haider and his relatives but Naila called the police and clarified that she had married Haider of her free will. On Friday, the couple’s lawyer Malik Rasheed was leaving the court after securing a bail for one of Haider’s family members when Naila’s family members Muhammad Ashiq, Razaq and Shafiq attacked the lawyer. “They were trying to gag him and force him into the back of a vehicle but we heard him cry out for help and immediately intervened,” said advocate Arshad. Following the incident several other lawyers also arrived at the scene and a brawl broke out between Naila’s family and the bar members.Eyewitnesses said that Naila’s relatives beat up several lawyers with sticks and also pelted them with stones and bricks. The couple’s lawyer Malik Raheed’s was severely injured after Razaq hit his head with a brick. “I have tried everything to avoid my family getting involved but they have not let the matter go. Haider and I have requested that the police give us protection because they have threatened to attack us next,” Naila said.

Heavy contingents of the police also reached the scene and arrested the girl’s family members but several people managed to escape the scene. Several lawyers protested against the incident and the district bar went on strike on Saturday. A majority of lawyers were absent on Saturday. “This was a despicable incident and we demand that heightened security be provided at courts,” said advocate Javed Rasheed, adding “if people can attack lawyers outside the court than we need to beef up security.”Police officials have arrested seven people have been arrested and a case has been registered against them. Those arrested include Muhammad Shakir, Muhammad Amjad, Muhammad Tariq, Nasir, Munir Ahmed and Zia Muhammad.

Source: The Express Tribune

Date:2/13/2011

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