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Groom, father & Qazi arrested for minor girl’s marriage

KARACHI, June 28: Police have arrested three persons in connection with an underage marriage case, including the father and the bridegroom of the underage girl, who was married to a teenager in the Mahmoodabad area.

Eight-year-old Zahida was married to 17-year-old Dilshad in Azam Basti on June 25.

Jamshed Town SP Javed Akbar Riaz told Dawn that some neighbours had informed the police about the underage marriage, after which the police recovered the girl and handed her over to her mother, Parveen, who was divorced by Abdul Rasool, the father of the underage girl.

He said that the girl’s marriage was a result of a ‘barter agreement’ between the two families, since the girl’s father wanted to marry the sister of Dilshad and, in return he gave his daughter to the teenage boy.

The SP said that the police arrested the girl’s father, Abdul Rasool, the bridegroom, Dilshad, and the Qazi, Qari Naqib Ali Shah, in the early hours of Sunday for their involvement in the unlawful marriage.

A case was registered under Section 151 of the Pakistan Penal Code against the arrested persons at the Mehmoodabad police station.

However, the SP said that the case was not cognizable and under the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1927, the police would prepare a report containing the case history and facts and submit it to a magistrate. The suspects would also be produced before the magistrate for a decision about the case, he added.

In a similar case, the police had foiled an underage marriage that was under way in Nazimabad on October 31, 2008. Both the bride and her groom were underage in that case.
Source: Dawn