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Educated girl in a bind

ISLAMABAD: Local police are to reinvestigate an almost closed case of kidnapping-for-ransom of a girl at the request of her father.

“Sameera is now pregnant and I fear she would be killed, after she delivers the baby, by the family who had kidnapped her in July last year,” Abbas Ali, the father, said on Wednesday after meeting Inspector General of Police Bani Amin Khan.

Abbas Ali had accused Sarwar Ali of Hungu, and his four sons, of not freeing his 25-year-old despite the payment of Rs1 million in ransom – against the demand of Rs7 million – and marrying her to one of the sons, 16-year-old Zeshan Ali Bangash.

A month after he filed a case of kidnapping with Shalimar police, Sameera was produced before a city magistrate.

There she stated that she wanted to go with her husband and was allowed to.

But her father argues that she said so out of fright as some 50 persons from the accused side were crowding the courtroom when she recorded her statement.

“Now that she is pregnant, she feels more threatened and wants us help her out. IG Bani Amin listened to me patiently and has asked ASI Najeeb Ullah Warraich of Ramna police to investigate anew,” said Abbas Ali.

“I have 67 video and audio cassettes to prove my charges against the culprits, including the payment of Rs1 million in ransoms,” he added.

IG Bani Amin, talking to Dawn, said that after the magistrate’s ruling, the police had nothing more to do with the case.

“But considering a father’s request, I have named an investigating officer and instructed relevant officers to satisfy the father,” the police chief said.

Meanwhile, Dr Fouzia Saeed of AASHA, an NGO working against sexual harassment, who has been studying the case believes that the father was telling the truth that Sameera was kidnapped from Islamabad and taken to Hungu.

“She is an educated girl, belonging to an educated family. One of her sisters is a doctor and another MBA. Her father is an area education officer in Islamabad. It is not possible an educated, 25-year-old girl would marry a 16-year-old boy and be (happy) in a family not highly educated,” Dr Fouzia told Dawn.