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Young couple killed after free-will marriage

By: Mohammad Hussain Khan

HYDERABAD: A man and a woman who tied the knot of their free will and had been missing since August are said to have been murdered allegedly by the girl’s father and brother along with their accomplices.

Police have arrested one of the accused, Haji Detho, who led police to an area in the limits of Pabban police station where he showed them the graves of the young woman, Samia Detho, and Ishtiaq Ahmed Sheikh, son of a senior journalist, Ahmed Khan Sheikh.
Mr Sheikh married Ms Samia last year against the will of the two families involved in a court in Karachi. The woman had filed a constitutional petition in the Sindh High Court seeking protection on the grounds that she had married of her own free will.

In the meantime, the Dethos attacked Sheikh’s house in Mori Mangar and abducted Ahmed Khan’s wife and daughter- in -law in retaliation. But the villagers got them released from the Dethos’ captivity. Subsequently, Ahmed Khan Sheikh had dissociated himself from his son’s act. He also tried to locate his son but failed. He approached local police but in vain.

In August, the girl’s family managed to trace the couple in Karachi. The girl’s father pretended before his daughter that since they had been married, they had no grudge against Sheikh and they should better return to the village because the marriage of Ms Samia’s brother was also scheduled.

Since then the couple went missing. Ishtiaq was only in touch with his mother. Ahmed Khan Sheikh began a search for his son after his wife informed him that Ishtiaq had told her over phone that he would be returning with his wife to the village to attend marriage of his wife’s brother as issues have been settled.

One of the journalists, Lala Rehman, brought the matter to the notice of President Asif Ali Zardari during a media conference in Islamabad recently. The president asked his military secretary to look into the matter.

Only then did police act swiftly. Reports said that on Friday police picked up one Haji Bhatti. He led a police party to Pabban police area and said that after Ishtiaq and his wife were brought to Hyderabad they were killed near a graveyard.

“Samia’s father gunned down his daughter and then she was buried. I, along with Rabu Khaskheli, Qasim Detho and Samia’s brother were present,” a police source quoted Haji Bhatti as having told police.