SHIKARPUR – Police here on Saturday arrested a groom, his father and the nikah khawan from a marriage party.
Parents of a five-year-old girl married their daughter off to a 22-year-old boy at village Raman Shar in the outskirts of Dakhan town, some 40kilometers from here.
According to a police official, acting on the information, a special police party, headed by SHO Dakhan Khuda Bakhsh Panhwar, conducted a raid and arrested Nikah-Khawan Maulvi Kifayatullah Bhutto, 40, groom Habibullah Shar, and father of groom, Gul Meer, and took five-year-old bride, Kori, daughter of Papo aka Zameer Shar, into custody along with her mother. According to sources, marriage had been solemnized before police could reach there.
Police shifted bridegroom and the bride to Dakhan Police Station and later handed them over to Gaheja Police for further action under the Early Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013.
Gaheja Police later registered a case against the groom, his parents and parents of the girl on behalf of the state under sections 3, 4 and 5 of Pakistan Penal Code.
Child Protection Officer at Indus Resource Centre [IRC] Naveed Ahmed Phulpoto said, “We will inform the higher authorities about early age marriages in the area because IRC has no power to act on its own.
Terming the nikah illegal, Shahab Osto, a lawyer and analyst, said that according to Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013, child marriage was a crime. “It is injustice! It leads to social isolation, and robs children of educational opportunities. A girl has a complete right to live her life freely, and should not be forced to early marriage because premature marriages led to health complications,” he added.