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Charges filed against 12 men in jirga case

KHAIRPUR, Feb 16: The court of civil judge and first judicial magistrate on Friday pressed charges against 12 people including chief of Shaikh community for holding a jirga, which declared two men and women karo-kari and forced the karo men to give their two minor daughters in marriage to the kari women’s family as fine.

The court sent the seven Gulzar Ali Shaikh, Qalandar Bux Shaikh, Atta Mohammad Shaikh, Shahnawaz Shaikh, Ghulam Shabbir Shaikh, Khadim Hussain Shaikh and Moulvi Ghulam Mustafa Panhwar to sub-jail on the conclusion of 14-day remand.

Police said that the remaining five, Ali Hassan Shaikh (constable), Mohammad Ismail Shaikh (constable), Ghous Bux Shaikh, Miran Bux Shaikh and Agan Shaikh, the chief of Shaikh community who was included in the case during investigation, were still at large.

A jirga organised by the community elders in the Gul Mohammad Shaikh village of Gambat town on Jan 2 reportedly declared Ms Zahida Shaikh and Ms Farzana Shaikh as karis and Khadim Hussain and Ghulam Shabbir as karos and passed the judgement that the karo Ghulam Shabbir’s minor daughter Abida and Khadim Hussain’s minor daughter Sapna would be given in marriage to the kari women’s family as fine.

The jirga forced Abida into marriage with Gulzar Shaikh and Moulvi Ghulam Mustafa solemnised the couple’s Nikah and announced that four-years-old Sapna would be married to Abid, son of Ghous Bux Shaikh.

Police registered a case against jirga-holders on February 1 after media reports that some policemen were also involved in convening the jirga and arrested seven of the 12 accused nominated in the FIR.

Investigation Police Inspector Altaf Hussain Burdi told Dawn that Mr Agan Shaikh was challaned after Ms Farzana Shaikh stated before the judge on Feb 13 that Mr Agan Shaikh was also involved in selling her for Rs25,000 when she was re-married after jirga.

Ms Farzana, recovered on February 12 and produced before the senior civil judge of Gambat the following day, had confirmed her sale for Rs25,000 and re-marriage with Misri Shaikh.

She had, however, added that she was happy with her new husband Misri and would like to continue living with him for the rest of her life. The court had then allowed her to live with Mr Misri.

Police have not yet recovered Ms Zahida Shaikh, the other kari, and the minor girl Abida Shaikh had been handed over to her relatives after she told police that she was forced into marriage.

Source: Dawn

Date:2/17/2007

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