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Minor girl freed from clutches of ‘husband’

SIALKOT: The Pasrur judicial magistrate has sent a seven-year-old girl to Darul Amaan (shelter house) after she refused to go to her parents, accusing her father of marrying her to a man for Rs70,000.
The matter came to the light when, according to police, Arif Rajput, the father of minor Sangam Shahzadi and resident of Garmolla-Darman, reported that her daughter had been detained by Shahbaz Ahmad, of Sabzpeer, Pasrur.
Police learnt Arif had sold a Bengali woman to Shahzad Ahmad for Rs25,000. The woman, however, ran away with someone.
When Shahzad pressed Arif to return the amount as the woman had gone, the latter struck a deal with his ‘client’. He married his five-year-old daughter, Sangam Shahzadi, to Iftikhar, the brother of Shahzad, for Rs70,000. The amount was to be paid later.
When Shahzad and Iftikhar failed to pay the amount, Arif forwarded an application to Sialkot District Police Officer (DPO) Capt Muhammad Ameen (retired) in the second week of March, 2009, for the recovery of Shahzadi.
When police recovered the minor girl and presented her to the court of Judicial Magistrate Malik Nisar Ahmad on March 21, she narrated her ordeal to the magistrate which shocked every one present in the court. She called her father as well as husband cruel and refused to go to them.
Shahzadi told Dawn at the Shelter Home that her father had sold her and got her married to Iftikhar, 24, two years ago. She alleged her “husband” and in-laws tortured her. “I hate my father,” she said.
District Social Welfare Officer Muhammad Nawaz Khan said the SPARC Child Rights Committee had pursued the case.
On the report of CRC Coordinator Muhammad Arslan Khan, the Sabzpeer police have registered a case against Shahzadi’s father Arif, her husband Iftikhar and the ‘nikah khawan’. The DPO said police had arrested the suspects.
Source: Dawn
Date:3/27/2009

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