KARACHI: The Gulani family has followed a couple, who married of their own will, all the way from Hyderabad to Karachi with plans to kill the two.
The family, which migrated from Rajasthan, India, traced the couple to Edhi Centre in Sohrab Goth on Monday night when they went in with their guns and demanded the authorities hand over S* and I*. The couple, who are also cousins, married each other against their parents’ wishes as the family is against cousin marriages.
As soon as the two solemnised their nikak at a Hyderabad court, they started facing threats as both sets of parents are determined to kill them. Earlier in 2008, the same family killed one of their girls as soon as she stepped out of the court after marrying a man of her own choice. Even the police have refused to provide protection to the couple, sources said, adding that S and I were shifted to Edhi shelter home in Karachi.
Soon after S ran away from her house last week, her family in Hyderabad raided a neighbour’s house on suspicions that she was there. There were reports that they even killed a neighbour after suspecting that he was involved with her.
On Monday night, the armed families barged into the shelter home at Sohrab Goth. According to an employee, the men threatened the staff members by showing guns. “They demanded the couple be handed over to them but we told them we had no information on their whereabouts.”
Meanwhile, Edhi Foundation spokesperson Anwar Kazmi said that the couple was taken to a safe place but was handed over to the Hyderabad police on Tuesday. “We requested the police to take them away as their relatives came to know that they are staying with us and we feared that their lives were in danger.”
According to an official, MPA Sharmila Farooqi rescued the couple and directed the police to stand guard outside the Edhi shelter home. “It is a serious issue,” she told The Express Tribune. “We cannot allow anyone to kill this innocent couple.” Several police officials and women’s rights activists suggested the couple separate for some time and stay at different locations but they refused. “They are not willing to be separated,” said an activist, refusing to share her name. “Our intention is to save lives because their family members could harm them anywhere.” She was concerned about the safety of the couple as there were no shelter homes in Hyderabad.
Farooqi promised that the government will provide protection. “We will not allow anyone to take the law in their own hands,” she said.