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Mansehra woman stripped, head partially shaved for resisting marriage

Mansehra woman stripped, head partially shaved for resisting marriage

MANSEHRA: Around a dozen men allegedly tortured a married woman, stripped her naked and partially shaved her head when she resisted the forced marriage of her daughter in a remote village of Garhi Habibullah in Mansehra, police and family said on Friday.

The incident was also filmed by some of her alleged assailants.

Officials said that a couple of years ago, Ashraf’s family had kidnapped a daughter of Muhammad Javed* and Hajra Bibi* and had forced her into a marriage with Ashraf’s brother.

Javed took up the matter in court, Ashraf’s family produced the marriage certificate as proof that Javed’s daughter had consented to the marriage of her own free will.

Later, Javed was forced to withdraw the case owing to social pressure and the decision of a local Jirga.

The distraught family seemed to have buried the matter, but four months ago, Ashraf returned demanding that he give his other daughter, 24-year-old Marium*, to their family in marriage as well.

Hajra Bibi* said that they rejected the proposal because they did not wish to maintain any contact with Ashraf’s family since they had brought misery and a bad name to them.

However, Ashraf and his family were not willing to take no for an answer and threatened Javed and Hajra Bibi of dire consequences, including kidnapping Marium.

Afraid that they may lose their second daughter too, Javed and Hajra sent their daughter to live with her maternal uncle in a neighbouring village.

On the Wednesday evening, Ashraf returned accompanied by around 20 men including Tanvir, Nazir, Zahoor and Manzoor. They stormed into Javed’s home demanded that the couple hand Marium over.

The couple explained that she was not there and refused to disclose her location. Angry, Ashraf and the accompanying men allegedly beat Hajra Bibi and her husband.

When Hajra Bibi kept up her resistance, they brutally tortured her and then tore her dress off her, leaving her naked. Some of the assailants allegedly filmed her with their cellphones.

They then proceeded to partially shave Hajra bibi’s head. They also partially shaved Javed’s beard. Before they left, they warned the couple that they would return for Marium.

The couple, however, lodged a complaint with the Garhi Habibullah police against seven attackers under sections 337-A (I), 337-V (II), 337-F 1, 148, 154, 354, 452 and 109 of the PPC.

Despite registering the case, police had yet to apprehend the culprits. Observing this, Javed and his family accused the police of conniving with the accused.

*Names changed to protect identity

The Express Tribune

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