BY MALIK IRFANUL HAQ
RAHIM YAR KHAN: Police have rescued a nine-year-old girl from being given as Vani, arresting four members of Panchayat and booking 17 people involved in the case at Chak 182/7-R of tehsil Liaqatpur.
District Police Officer Zeeshan Asghar told Dawn, through an SMS, that police had taken action on Thursday night on the information that there was a gathering of elders of Mengawal tribe at Chak 84, Abbasia, in the area of Tabbasum Shaheed Police Station.
The elders of the clan had decided to give Soni Mai, 9, daughter of Hari Lal, in marriage to settle a murder case.
One Gamu Ram had killed his wife, Bakhto Mai, and to settle the matter, Panchayat had asked him to marry his nine-year-old sister, Soni, with a cousin of Bakhtu Mai. The marriage was to be held on Friday. However, police took action on Thursday night and arrested four people, namely Gamu Ram, Kalu Ram, Kastura Ram and Punnu Ram. Police are trying to arrest the remaining 13 suspects who have reportedly disappeared in the desert area.
In another case, two persons, including the father of the girl, were arrested for trying to marry an 11-year-old girl as Vani, following a Panchayat decision in the urban area of Nooraywali.
The Panchayat had given Samreen as Vani to be married with 18-year-old Muhammad Abbas to settle the issue over the marriage of Samreen’s father, Muhammad Nawaz.
Nawaz had contracted second marriage with one Kalsoom. However, there was tension and fights in the house and Kalsoom’s parents accused him of ruining their daughter’s life. A Panchayat meeting was called which announced that Nawaz would marry his daughter, Samreen, a class VII student, with Muhammad Abbas of Kalsoom’s family as compensation.
Samreen and her mother resisted against the decision of Panchayat but the Panchayat and Nawaz prepared Nikahnama with fake signatures of Samreen, mentioning her age as 18.
Samreen’s mother approached the station house officer of C-Division Police Station but he took no action on her complaint. Later on, she moved the court and on the court directions, police took action against the illegal marriage.
DPO Zeeshan Asghar told Dawn a case had been registered and father and Nikah registrar had been arrested.
The Nation: 11-year-old saved from marriage