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Girl declared ‘kari’ by jirga saved

SUKKUR, June 14: Police have saved life of a six-month pregnant girl who faced danger of being put to death after a jirga declared her kari and asked her husband to divorce her as punishment for her love marriage.

Saira Bano Jatoi who eloped with Mohammad Ismail Soomro and married of her own free will in the district and sessions court of Sukkur on June 7 last year, faced imminent death after the jirga declared her kari.

The marriage sparked enmity between the two tribes and led to kidnapping of Ismail Soomro’s maternal uncle, Dr. Jawed Soomro, and his wife Sumaiya Soomro reportedly by Jatois from their residence in New Pind 10 days ago.

The kidnapping forced the couple, who had been residing in Karachi for eight months for fear of danger to their lives, to return to Sukkur last week.

Sources close to the matter said that as soon as they arrived they were shifted to Mangi Laro of Shikarpur, where a jirga jointly led by Sardar Junaid Soomro and Sardar Abid Hussain Jatoi decided to release the kidnappees and ordered Ismail to divorce his six-month pregnant wife.Under the decision, she was to be handed over to Sardar Abid Hussain Jatoi after divorce and preparations were under way to put her to death, but Ismail refused to divorce and then the couple were moved to some undisclosed place till further decision about their fate.

On Friday evening, DIG Sukkur Bashir Ahmed Memon received a tip-off about the whereabouts of the couple and ordered the ASP Dr. Khurram Rasheed to conduct raid and recover the couple.

The ASP, with the help of a resident of Shikarpur Qayoom Pitafi and SP investigation Shikarpur raided Mangi Laro and recovered the couple, without firing a single bullet.

Later, an FIR was lodged under sections 148, 149, 364, 342, 506/2 of PPC against 11 people including, Sardar Junaid Soomro, Sardar Abid Hussain Jatoi and a police constable Nisar Soomro on the complaint of SHO Abdul Malik Kamangar at B-section police station.

According to the FIR, Constable Nisar Soomro with eight others raided Ismail Soomro’s home in Takkar Muhalla in Sukkur on Friday morning and kidnapped the couple at gunpoint. He took them to Shikarpur, where they were handed over to Sardar Abid Hussain Jatoi and Junaid Ahmed Soomro, said the FIR.

The DIG said that all the people involved in this act would be dealt with according to law. Sardar Junaid Soomro and Sardar Abid Hussain Jatoi could not be reached for comments over their cell phones.

IG Sindh and home minister have announced Rs100,000 each cash reward for the police men who participated in the raid and the IG has given an appreciation letter to the ASP.

The DIG appealed to high-ups to give Ismail Soomro a job in the police department and allot him a residential quarter so that the couple could live their under security.

The released couple told journalists that they felt themselves insecure, as the Jatoi tribesmen were after them. They appealed to police, Aurat Foundation, Human Rights Commission and Amnesty International to provide them a safe place to live and also appealed to the judges of superior courts to help provide them safety.
Source: Dawn
Date:6/15/2008

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