Bahawalpur: Police foil wedding of 4-year-old girl
BAHAWALPUR: An attempt to marry off a four-year-old girl was foiled on Wednesday, when police officials arrested the 22-year-old bridegroom and forced the wedding guests to leave the function.
According to police officials, Moza Rangpur Chowk Shahidan resident Humera (4) had been wed to Muhammad Shahzad by nikah khwan Qazi Khalil Ahmed on Tuesday.
The families of Humera and Shahzad had arranged the match when the girl’s father Zahoor Ahmed’s uncle Khanqah Sharif exchanged his son Ranjha’s daughter Rubina for one of Shahzad’s daughters.
On Wednesday, Ranjha along with his 22- year-old son and a large number of wedding guests reached Moza Rangpur for the reception ceremony.
Musafir Khana police came to know about the event and raided the house. Police officials from Musafir Khana and Sama Satta police stations raided the location and stalled the wedding.
The police turned out all the guests and arrested the groom and the girl’s parents.
According to the girl parents, Zahoor Ahmed and Naseem Bibi, watta satta marriages were a long standing tradition in the family and they had the right to contract the marriage.
“This is our tradition. We get our daughter’s married when they are very young but the rukhsati is arranged afterwards when they come of an age,” Ahmed said, adding, “The police are making a big deal out of this even though it is common practice.”
Thaana Musafir Khan SHO Afzal Lodhi said that he had released Humera’s parents.
“They have been issued a warning that the child is not to be married off before she is of legal age,” Lodhi said, adding “the parents were determined that there was nothing wrong with them contracting the nikah with or without the child’s approval.”