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11-year-old girl kidnapped in Hala

HYDERABAD: A minor girl belonging to the Hindu community was abducted from her residence in Hala town of Matiari district on Friday. The family of 11-year-old Monika Luhano, a student of class six, has nominated a young man and his three accomplices in the FIR registered at the Hala police station.

Pushpal Luhano, the complainant in the FIR, claimed that Mushtaq Mahar, son of a school teacher, Sabit Ali Mahar, and a resident of Allah Dino Mahar village in Matiari, kidnapped Monika. He kidnapped her along with his three associates.

“Mushtaq and three others, all armed, entered our house and took away my sister. When we resisted, they warned that we would be shot dead,” claimed Pushpal.

According to him, before the kidnapping incident, Mushtaq used to stalk his sister by following her in the street. He claimed that he warned the suspects against wandering on their street a few times. The local Hindu Panchayat and the Hindu traders joined the family in a protest and surrounded the police station before registration of the FIR.

In their chants, they demanded the recovery of the girl and punishment for the alleged kidnapper while demanding security for their community living in Hala. Meanwhile, Hala SHO Shakil Ahmed Rind assured the protesters that the police would arrest the suspect and requested them to disperse.

Seth Nand Kumar, a representative of the community, told the media that the incident has instilled a renewed fear in the community which is already distressed over alleged forced marriages of Hindu girls. He warned of a stronger reaction across the province if Monika is not recovered. The community did not send their daughters to school on Saturday.

The police raided the residence of Mushtaq on Saturday and detained the suspect’s father and some other persons. However, the four suspects and the girl were not found at the residence, according to the SHO.

The Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act, 2013, has declared the marriage of young people of under 18 years of age as an offence. The persons solemnising such a marriage are punishable under the Act. Monika was enrolled in Government Girls Primary School, Makhdoom Rafique Zaman.

The Express Tribune