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Family refuses underage marriage, fears death

NAWABSHAH: A 10-year-old girl student of class III was by force married to a 25-year-old son of her maternal uncle. The parents of the girl Maria rejected the forced marriage and appealed to the authorities to intervene.

Gul Muhammad of village Hayat Muhammad Rind near Bandhi town said his wife Bilquees and daughter Maria had gone to her maternal uncle in village Jhagia Mori, district Okara, where Mariaís maternal uncle Allah Ditta married Maria with his 25-year-old son Ali Raza by force.

Bilquees said she was pressurised, tortured and kept in confinement to sign on the marriage certificate. She said the pressure of police was also used to obtain the signature of the girl. She said Maria signed on the certificate under extreme pressure.

Bilquees said she and her daughter managed to escape from All Ditta’s house and arrived at village Hayat Muhammad Rind and narrated the story to her husband. She appealed to the authorities to provide her protection, as her brothers were exerting pressure to hand over Maria or face dire consequences.

The girl Maria also gave the same statement and said she was forced to sign the marriage certificate, which she refused after which she and her mother were locked in a room, tortured and no food or water was given to them. Maria said she was afraid that her maternal uncle would kill her mother and father.
Source: The News
Date:8/4/2008

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