A woman in Muzaffargarh seeking recovery of a daughter she said had been kidnapped says she has been beaten and raped by the father of the man who kidnapped her daughter.
She has also accused police of favouring her oppressors and ignoring her complaint. Police said they had not received a complaint.
The widow, a resident of Akbar Colony in Alipur, told The Express Tribune that her 14-year-old daughter was kidnapped from their house on October 10 by Zahid Mastoi. She said she had filed a complaint at the Alipur police station and nominated the suspect. She said she had been visiting the police station for follow-up.
She said despairing in the police, she contacted Sardar Sadiq Mastoi, a local feudal lord, and sought his help. She said he called a panchayat comprising 80 people, including several villagers and members of both families. He presided over the panchayat.
She said the suspect’s father, Muhammad Manzoor, told the panchayat that his son had married the girl and that she had not been kidnapped. He said it would be ‘dishonourable’ for them to surrender their ‘daughter-in-law’.
She said she told the panchayat that her daughter was too young to be legally married.
She said after hearing both sides, the panchayat ruled in favour of the suspect and ordered her to “forget about her daughter”.
She said the panchayat did offer her a Rs400,000 compensation to be paid by the man’s family. She said she refused a settlement and threatened to set herself on fire if her daughter was not released. The panchayat ordered some men to take her away.
She said as the panchayat head, Sardar Mastoi ordered the suspect’s family to beat her and her family if they put up resistance.
She said a few hours later, the suspect’s father came to her house, where he beat her up and burned her with cigarettes. She said he also raped her “for bringing shame to his family”.
She said her brother and son were taken to a dera and beaten.
She said she had gone to Jatoi police station to file an application. She said Sub Inspector Saleem Iqbal called Sardar Mastoi for investigation, made her wait for several hours, and later told her to leave. She alleged that Sardar Mastoi had either threatened or bribed the policeman.
Station House Officer Arshad Khan Rind told The Express Tribune that the woman and Sardar Mastoi had been summoned. He said Sardar Mastoi had denied the allegation. He said the woman had not produced any evidence in support of her claims. He said none of the policemen had told her to leave.
“The SI asked her to return the next morning, but she never came. She did not register an FIR,” he said.
The woman told The Express Tribune that she had received death threats from the Mastoi and his father.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2013.