LIAQATPUR: A man filed a rape case against seven people after his daughter married of her own free will.
Ghareeb Shah resident Jam Bahudi called a press conference in Liaqatpur on Saturday and said that he had been abducted and false rape charges had been filed against him and his family by Muhammad Iqbal.
Bahudi said that his son Muhammad Irfan has wed Iqbal’s daughter Azra Bibi in the magistrate court on January 16. Bahudi said that Iqbal has threatened his entire family with dire consequences and had him abducted. “I was taken from my house four days after the marriage and beaten up in a room for days before they released me,” Bahudi told the press. Bahudi said that the police were siding with Iqbal’s family and that they had bribed him and his family for money and threatened his life.
“They filed rape charges against my father, my brothers, my sister and her husband,” Muhammad Azam said, adding that Iqbal’s family had vehemently opposed the marriage. “My younger brother wanted to marry Azra for over a year but we discouraged him because we knew her family would not support the marriage,” Azam said.
“They both got married without our knowledge in court and now we will support him. He is my brother and we decided to stand by him,” he said.
Bahudi threatened to commit suicide if justice was not served. “The police is demanding bribes from my family and threatening us to return Azra,” he said, adding “I will not do this because the girl is legally married to my son and her father will most likely kill her.”
Azra Bibi’s father Muhammad Iqbal registered a rape case in Pakadlan police station against Bahudi, his daughter Nasreen Bibi, sons Muhammad Iqbal Guddu, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Azam, Muhammad Imran, son-in-law Mujahid Hussain and his servant Muhammad Abid last week.
Pakadlan Police Station Inspector Rasool Bukhsh and other officials entered Bahudi’s house on Saturday and took the family to the police station. “They beat us and questioned us for hours but we have done nothing wrong,” said Nasreen Bibi, who said that her family was asked to arrange Rs25,000 for the police to withdraw the case. “They eventually declared that I was innocent after my father paid them Rs15,000,” she said, adding “my father is a 90-year-old man and he can barely walk. Iqbal has charged him with abduction and rape, the charges are ludicrous”.
Irfan said that he had married Azra in front of a magistrate according to their will. “I hate that my family is being tortured in this manner because we wanted to get married,” he said, adding “We merely exercised our right to marry of our choice but my wife’s family is making our lives miserable.”
Pakadlan police station inspector Rasool Bukhsh said “The family claims that the girl is legally married but we are investigating. The girl’s family did not approve the match and she cannot marry without her father’s approval.”
The Bahudi family said that the police were harassing them and demanding more money to drop the case. Irfan and his father have appealed to the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to intervene.
Pakadlan police station inspector Rasool Bukhsh said that the case was being pursued in accordance with the law and all bribery allegations were baseless.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st, 2011.
More in PunjabAcid throwing becoming a common practice in RYK