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Woman abducted, sold in mart of human avarice

MUZAFFARGARH, March 30: A married woman, a resident of a village in Muzaffargarh, was allegedly kidnapped on Feb 22 and sold to a third party for Rs40,000 and is still in the clutches of her alleged buyers, her family told Dawn on Sunday. They alleged that two union council nazims were pressuring them not to approach police or rights activists for the recovery of the woman.

According to Riaz Husain, of Mauza Bet Rawlay Wali in Shah Jamal police station area, her daughter, Perveen Mai, was married to Qaswar. He says that on Feb 22, Riaz Hussain and Razzaq Pehlwan allegedly broke into his house and kidnapped Perveen Mai at gunpoint. He says at that time, both Qaswar and he were in Sargodha where they are employed at a mill.

When they heard about the kidnapping of Perveen, they rushed to the village. He says that he consulted the elders of Riaz and Razzaq and pleaded them to return his daughter. The elders pledged that they would persuade the alleged kidnappers to return the woman. After three days, he heard that the alleged kidnappers had sold Perveen to Akhtar Nai and Allah Bachaya, also of the same village, for Rs40,000. He says that he approached the new captors of her daughter and asked them to release her. At first, they denied buying Perveen. After he pestered them, they admitted keeping the woman in their house.

He said that Akhtar and Bachaya demanded Rs40,000 for her release. As he was a poor labourer, Rs40,000 was quite a good deal for him. He said two union council nazims of the area — Malik Abid Mahmood Bhabha and Saleem Makwal — also intervened in the matter and gave him a two-week deadline to arrange the ransom or forget his daughter. The captors also threatened him not to approach the police or they would sell the woman to some gangsters in the interior Sindh.

Riaz says that he sold his households and borrowed some money from his friends, but he could arrange only Rs28,000 in one month, that was well short of the demand of the captors. When he approached the alleged captors with money, this time he told that Perveen would not to be returned to him because she was legal wife of Akhtar Nai. He said that Akhtar also told him that he had arranged a nikahnama or marriage deed, showing Perveen his wife.

Riaz says her daughter had already been married with Qaswar Hussain. He said her wedding took place just 14 months ago and the whole village knew it.

He says that he has not seen his daughter since Feb 22 and he has no hopes of justice from police as the nazims would easily influence the police.

When contacted, Mr Bhabha said that he had come to know about the matter just two or three days ago, and he was trying to settle the issue. He denied the allegations levelled by Riaz that he was backing the accused.

An official of Shah Jamal police station said they had no information about the kidnapping or selling of any woman called Perveen.
Source: Dawn