PESHAWAR: The father of a 15-year-old Christian girl— who was kidnapped in May within the jurisdiction of Mathra police station— has alleged his daughter was forced to convert by 27-year-old Aneel Masih. However, it is said the girl and accused appeared before the court and said they married with each other’s consent.
According to the father, the accused and his daughter went to the court of a judicial magistrate in Peshawar.
However, Rural SP Shakir Khan told The Express Tribune the accused went to the court three days ago, fearing he would be arrested. The SP said Aneel was reportedly granted bail by court then.
He added that on Saturday the man and girl appeared before the court with their own consent.
It was reported Aneel is Catholic while the girl is Protestant.
The SP said the girl and the accused showed their court marriage certificate in front of the magistrate. He added they said they are both adults and married in the court with each other’s consent.
Later, the court ordered the girl be sent to Darul Aman, while Aneel’s bail was extended till the next hearing scheduled for June 9.
The FIR in the case was registered on May 28 by father of the kidnapped girl at Mathra police station. A copy of the FIR is available with The Express Tribune.
It stated the girl left her house for school on the morning of May 27. However, it read she did not return. According to her father, she was allegedly kidnapped on her way back home from school.
The FIR further stated the girl was studying at a government high school in Warsak Colony in grade nine. It added she was kidnapped by Aneel George, resident of Tehkal Payan area of Peshawar.
Labyrinth of a case
The girl’s father, Sajid Masih, told The Express Tribune Aneel abducted his daughter and married her following rules of Christianity. However, Sajid added, Aneel forcibly converted the girl to Islam and remarried her following Islamic rituals. “The kidnapper also defamed his religion by committing nikkah over a marriage, which is not allowed in Christianity.”
Sajid said Aneel was lying by saying they both accepted Islam after marriage. The father said his daughter was not eligible to marry with her own consent. “My daughter was forced to convert to Islam.”
The marriage certificate, which is believed to be of Aneel and the girl’s, bears the stamp of a Catholic church in Kohat and has Aneel’s as well as the girl’s name. A copy of the certificate is available with The Express Tribune.
However, Sajid believes the certificate to be fabricated as the date of birth of the girl written on it did not match with the one written in the enrolment documents of the girl’s Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Peshawar. As per the documents, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the girl’s date of birth is December 11, 2001, it matched with her birth certificate issued by the Anglican Orthodox Church, Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2016.
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