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Sold and tortured at the tender age of seven

Sidrah Roghay

Karachi: Sold for a mere 9,500 rupees for a year by her own mother to a woman in Karachi, Abida aged seven, suffered immense physical torture for at least three weeks, before police rescued her in a raid on an apartment building in the Gulberg area of the city.

After hearing repeated screams of the girl, residents of the building informed the police, who found Abida with swollen fingers and burn marks on her body.

According to the police, the accused, Humaira Akram, who holds a master’s degree from a university in Lahore, would beat up the girl because she would not study English. The girl however said that she would get beaten up for refusing to work.

Abida hails from Faisalabad and has no father. She was sent to Karachi for a year to work and earn a livelihood.

The girl was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, where she was examined by a medico-legal officer. The police are awaiting the report.

No FIR has been registered so far. “An FIR will be registered after the medical reports arrive so that the nature of abuse can be determined,” said Nasir Bukhari, DSP Gulberg, who also thinks the accused is mentally disturbed.

“Two cases will be filed: the first against the mother for selling her daughter, and the second against Humaira Akram for child abuse.”

Police told The News on Saturday that Humaira Akram had been released against a personal surety out of consideration for her three children of ages between six months and two and a half years.

Abida’s family has been notified and her maternal uncle has arrived in the city. He will be the complainant in the case.

Meanwhile, the girl is recovering from her wounds, both emotional and physical, at Panah, a shelter home for women survivors of violence.

The News