SARGODHA: A young woman who married a man six months ago filed a case against her husband for drugging her and aborting her child.
The girl accused her husband of raping her for six months after he had coerced her into signing a fake marriage certificate. Second year student Sahar Naseem said that Muhammad Bilal had coerced her into marrying him and fabricated a marriage contract from stolen records.
“He kept telling me that he would take me home soon but we met in secret for nearly six months,” Naseem said, adding that she would leave from college with Bilal and be back in time to be picked up by her family driver.
Naseem said that six months ago she went with Bilal to a secluded house where some of his friends and a cleric performed a marriage ceremony for the couple. “We kept seeing each other after that for six months but I didn’t tell my family about what had happened,” Naseem admitted to the police.
During this time Naseem became pregnant and when she told Bilal she said that he seemed extremely troubled about the situation. “He changed immediately and told me to meet him again in two days, when I went to him he gave me something to drink and I fainted,” she said. According to Naseem, Bilal drugged her and when she woke up she was bleeding and had been dropped off near her school at one of his friends’ houses. “I argued with his friend Hassan about the abortion and told him I would go to the police,” she said, adding “he told me to go right ahead as the marriage contract was fake and I would only land myself in trouble with charges of having had illicit relations with a man,” Naseem said.
Naseem confronted Bilal about the fake document and he admitted that the wedding certificate had been forged, adding that he wanted nothing to do with her in the future. “I decided to tell my parents and they supported me. We went to the police to register a case that same day,” she said.
Sahar Naseem submitted an application with Sargodha district police officer (DPO) Nasir and the police investigated the local union council records. “There was no record of the marriage as she said and one of the council workers told us that a register of records had been stolen several months ago,” Nasir said, adding that it was likely Bilal had forged the marriage certificate from those records.
Satellite Town police station on the complaint of Sahar Naseem and her mother Bilqis, registered a case against Muhammad Bilal but investigation officer Sikandar Zulqarnain disposed off the case within a day. When asked, Zulqarnain said that he had disposed of the case on the request of the complainant. “The women knew that Naseem would likely be charged with having illicit relations and for an abortion,” he said. However, Naseem insisted that she wanted to pursue the case and wanted justice. “We have appealed to human rights groups. My marriage was real, I agreed to marry him in the presence of a maulvi and I signed the papers,” she said, adding “I did nothing wrong. I should have told my parents sooner but they support me now and he is the one who should pay for his ill intentions,” she said.
Naseem has had a medical test that has confirmed her pregnancy and the abortion and her family has charged Bilal with rape.
Names have been changed to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2010.
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