By: Owais Jafri
MULTAN: An elderly woman and her sister were disrobed and paraded naked at a bus terminal in Muzaffargarh after they “offended” a family by asking for their girl’s hand in marriage for the former’s son.
The incident took place in the Liaquatabad Adda in Khangarh sub-district, Muzaffargarh, on Wednesday when Sakeena Maayi had taken her son Shabeer’s marriage proposal to his love interest Aneela’s house in Nayi Abaadi Basti.
In return, she and her sister were held captive, beaten up and stripped.
The humiliation didn’t end there. According to the victims and eyewitnesses, they were tied to a motorbike while undressed and filmed throughout the incident by the culprits on their mobile phones.
According to locals, Shabeer had been beaten up twice by Aneela’s brother when the couple tried to meet and the matter had to be resolved by locals each time. Finally, Aneela asked Shabeer to send his parents to ask for her hand in marriage.
According to Sakeena, 63, when she and her sister Shamim, 65, went over to Aneela’s house, the family held her captive in a room, before summoning five to six persons to beat and strip them.
“They said, ‘today we will teach you the lesson about the honour of an important tribe of the area. We are Aarayin, the most respectable caste of the world,’” she recounted.
Sakeena added that they were then tied to a motorbike and taken to the local bus terminal.
An eyewitness, Khizar, told The Express Tribune that the men kept filming the women while they were tied to the motorbike. Residents of the area tried to rescue the women, but were unable to owing to the family’s influential and feudal status.
The men eventually left the victims in the same condition and returned to their homes. Pakistan People’s Party leader Amir Karamat provided security to the victims and had them shifted to the police station to take legal action.
The police, on the other hand, was notably missing.
Police’s delayed action
Muhammad Iqbal, an eyewitness, told The Express Tribune that the police were the real criminals since they were reluctant to intervene.The police eventually arrived to resolve the situation after about three hours and raided the residence of Bilal Aarayin, Aneela’s father.
Although Bilal was not at home, two accused, namely Dr Abdul Ghafar Aarayin and his son Irfan Aarayin, were arrested, while the others are still at large.
An FIR was lodged under section 354 A, 148 and 149 on the application of Sakeena against six nominated persons, namely Dr Abdul Ghafar Aarayin, Irfan Aarayin, Irshad Aarayin, Iqbal Aarayin, Munir Hussain, Mureed Hussain and five unidentified persons.
On the other hand, while talking to The Express Tribune, Ghafar and Irfan tried to justify their actions, claiming the women were attempting to rob their house and they acted in self-defence.
They also denied the story of the marriage proposal. Residents of the area, however, confirmed that Shabeer and Aneela were a couple.
Following the incident, residents of the area blocked the National Highway by burning tyres in protest against the incident and the police’s failure in taking any action. Amjad Ali Amjad, a representative of the human rights commission of Muzaffargarh district, demanded that the culprits be prosecuted in an anti-terrorism court.