Security personnel helped a couple flee the Lahore High Court via the gate reserved for judges after angry relatives of the woman attacked them for marrying against their wishes.
Amir Sohail and Abida were at the LHC on Monday for the hearing of the former’s petition for protection from her family as they had been threatening him ever since the couple eloped.
But when they arrived, they were confronted by about 50 men and women from Abida’s family, which is from Rahim Yar Khan. Some tried to take Abida away while others began beating Sohail. He eventually managed to find shelter in the courtroom of Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik, who was conducting proceedings in another case at the time. The judge called security personnel upon Sohail’s cries for help.
The security personnel helped the couple escape via the judges’ gate, but two friends of Sohail were attacked and severely beaten as they tried to leave the court complex. Hearing that the couple had fled, members of Abida’s family began to block traffic at GPO Chowk.
When police personnel tried to stop the protesters, women attacked them with shoes and fists. After keeping the road blocked for more than two hours, the protesters eventually moved to the side of the road to record their protest.
Abida’s mother claimed that she had been kidnapped and forced into marriage. She alleged that Sohail was connected to influential people who had previously kidnapped girls for forced marriages. She said that another daughter of hers had been missing for two days.
The family later moved their protest to the chief minister’s house.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2012.
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