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Maid’s daughter goes missing few days before her engagement

According to Shahnaz’s elder brother, Abdul Malik, Shahnaz has now been missing for over two months. They fear that the girl may have been sold off for prostitution. The family has filed several complaints with the police and the Johar Town Nazim, but her whereabouts remain unknown.However, Rizwan Warsi, the person accused of the crime, denies the charges and says that the girl has run away with his driver out of her own free will. The missing girl’s family not only suspects Rizwan Warsi of committing the crime but also of using his influence to prevent investigation.It was also learnt through a statement issued by Madadgaar, a joint project for Human Rights and Legal Aid, which is assisting the family, that Mumtaz Mai had been employed as a domestic servant only during the day while Shahnaz was employed to work day and night. Malik added that Shahnaz had been living with the Warsi family for three years while his mother had been employed for the past seven years.

Providing further details, Malik said that on the morning of December 25, 2006, when Mumtaz reached the Warsi residence as per her work routine, she discovered that her daughter was missing. Upon inquiring, Rizwan Warsi told her that her daughter had run away with their driver the previous night. “When my mother entered their house, she saw two reporters and a policeman present who were discussing Shahnaz’s disappearance,” said Abdul Malik while talking to The News. He alleged that they were pretending so that his mother would not suspect foul play.When contacted by The News, Rizwan Warsi denied the allegation and instead said that the marriage certificate of Shahnaz and his driver was found from the driver’s room after the two had left.Rizwan and his wife Farah Warsi comforted Mumtaz and reassured her that they would help her recover Shahnaz but Mumtaz did not believe them.

“A month before the incident Madam Farah had expressed her intention to permanently employ Shahnaz as she was a good babysitter. She had also offered my mother Rs100,000 in exchange which she instantly refused to take,” revealed Malik. A few days later when Mumtaz discussed Shahnaz’s engagement plans with Farah Warsi and requested a few days leave for Shahnaz’s engagement with her cousin in their village, Farah Warsi refused to oblige and tried to persuade Mumtaz to let her stay with them instead, alleges Malik. Farah Warsi told The News, however, that this was not the case. She said that she was very supportive of the marriage and even helped gather some things for Shahnaz’s dowry. “She said Shahnaz is too young and it is illegal to marry her off at this age. Later when Shahnaz went missing, Farah claimed that she (Shahnaz) ran away with their driver because they both wanted to marry and that my mother should stop searching for her,” continued Abdul Malik.After being threatened with an FIR, Abdul Malik said that Rizwan Warsi promised the family that Shahnaz was his responsibility and he would recover her within four days, which never happened. However, on filing a complaint with SHO Gulistan-e-Johar against Rizwan, the SHO too assured him of investigating the case but failed to do so.

“There has been no news from the police yet,” said Malik, adding that the family has been receiving threatening phone calls ever since they reported the matter.A night before the incident, said Malik, Shahnaz had informed her mother that she would be accompanying Mr and Mrs Warsi to one of their family weddings. “Shanno sounded very excited about it, I wonder where they took her instead,” he dismally added.Advocate Zia Awan has strongly appealed to the Governor and Ombudsman Sindh, Inspector General Police and the city police chief for immediate recovery of the girl. Hailing from a village near Rahimyar Khan in Punjab, the family moved to Karachi seven years ago and Mumtaz had been employed with Rizwan Warsi ever since. They currently reside in a slum near Bakhtwar Colony in Gulistan-e-Johar.

Source: The News

Date:1/28/2007

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