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Warrants out for absconding suspects in underage girl’s marriage case

Warrants out for absconding suspects in underage girl’s marriage case

Karachi: A court has issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of six fleeing suspects in the high-profile case of a teenage girl who was allegedly kidnapped from Karachi and lured into illegal underage marriage in Punjab.

Special Gender-Based Violence Court (East) Judge Ilyas, who lately took cognizance of the final charge sheet filed against 16 people, including the 15-year-old girl’s purported husband, directed the investigating officer to arrest the absconders and produce them before the court on the next date of the hearing.

The absconding suspects include Noor Muneer, Muneer Hussain Lughmani, Muhammad Waseem, Khurram Mehmood, Muhammad Arif and Muhammad Umar.

The prime suspect, 18-year-old Muhammad Zaheer Ahmed, his brother Muhammad Shabbir, local cleric Hafiz Ghulam Mustafa along with seven others have been charged with kidnapping the minor, taking her to Punjab and solemnising her underage marriage.

On Monday, the judge had accepted the final charge sheet in the case against the 16 suspects. However, he removed the charge of rape of the victim as her medical examination was not carried out to ascertain whether or not she was sexually abused during the period she spent with her purported husband Ahmed.

Investigating Officer DSP Saeed Ahmed Rind discharged around 25 suspects, said to be relatives or friends of the alleged main suspect Ahmed, in the final charge sheet. Six suspects, including Ahmed’s mother, were listed as absconders in the case.

The court took cognizance against the nominated suspects, both detained as well as absconding, under sections 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of fourteen), 363 (kidnapping), 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 3(ii) and 4 of the Prevention of Trafficking in Person Act, 2018.

The court also took cognizance against detained cleric Hafiz Ghulam Ali, who had solemnised the girl’s underage marriage, and a witness, Ali Asghar, under sections 3 and 4 of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013.

Source: The news

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