Rahim Yar Khan: Forced marriage: 15-year-old accuses brothers of torture
RAHIM YAR KHAN: Additional Sessions Judge Chaudhry Javed Iqbal Saif on Thursday summoned four brothers and the paternal grandfather of a girl who accused them of beating her, shaving her head and keeping her starved in a room for more a month. The judge also summoned the District Police Officer Sohail Zafar Chattha and set June 13 as the date of hearing. Fifteen–year–old Saima*, a student of seventh class, filed a complaint against her four brothers and her grandfather on Wednesday. She said that after her father died three years ago, she and her mother had been living at her maternal grandparents’ house in Gaddafi Colony.
She said her mother also died a month ago, after which her brothers, who were living with their paternal grandparents in Pannu Aqil, asked her to return home with them. She said she had agreed.
A few days later, she said her brothers arranged her marriage with an elderly man. She said she refused to marry and told them that she wanted to continue her studies. She said at this they beat her and locked her in a room. She said sometimes they would not give her food. She said when she tried to escape, they caught her, tied her with a rope with help from their grandfather and shaved her head.
She said she finally managed to escape on Monday and went back to her maternal grandparents’ house and told them the whole story.
She said when her uncle went to meet her brothers the next day, they called the (C-Division) police and handed him over to them. She said C-Division SHO Mian Azhar kept him in prison for several hours and beat him before letting him go. She said they then moved the court against her brothers and grandfather. Talking to The Express Tribune, the SHO, however, denied the allegation, saying he had neither arrested the uncle nor beat him.
Saima’s uncle told The Express Tribune that his nephews’ parental family had poisoned him against their maternal family.
He said had Saima not managed to flee, her grandfather and brothers would have killed her. He said the police had threatened to implicate him in a fake case if he prosecuted them.
Advocate Rukhsana Piya, Saima’s counsel, told The Tribune that she had requested the DPO to provide the girl and her maternal family protection.
She said her grandfather had influence in the area and feared that they might harm her.