RAHIM YAR KHAN: Police officials have been accused of siding with a man who kidnapped his wife and attacked his in-laws in Rahim Yar Khan.
According to Mastaan Shah resident Sajid, his aunt Rukhsana had come to stay with them a week ago after she had been abused by her husband Shakeel Khan. “She came to us in a state of panic and said that he had threatened to kill her because she had filed for a divorce,” he said. “We promised we would offer her and her 7-year-old son protection and my father and I went to the police to file a complaint,” Sajid said, adding that Rukhsana has been severely beaten by her husband.
“Shakeel is a local thug and everyone is afraid of him. He has paid off the police and they have also been threatening us,” Sajid’s mother Amina Bibi said.
Amina told reporters that her niece, Rukhsana, had gotten married in August, 2009 to Shakeel. “They fought a lot and he was abusive. In the two years of her marriage she spent a lot of time with us to escape him,” Amina said. She said that after a year of the marriage her niece filed an application for dissolution of marriage and return of dowry with the local court. “He threatened my entire family when we said we would support her,” Amina said, adding that Shakeel had boasted that he knew police officials and would file fake cases against Rukhsana, Amina and the rest of the family. “Now he is fulfilling his threat because the police are siding with him. He broke into our house and fired gun shots but the cops did nothing,” she said.
Sajid said that Shakeel was accompanied by another man who broke into the house and kidnapped Rukhsana four days ago.
“They beat me and my mother up and we couldn’t protect her. Later they returned and threatened us to give up her son Kashif, who had been hiding the whole time,” Sajid said.
Sajid told reporters that he had gone to the C-division police to file a case but the police refused. “They took a bribe from him and they told us point blank that we had hidden the girl ourselves. “The police have told us to hand over Kashif instead of recovering his mother. They are on his side,” Sajid said.
On January 23, Shakeel and his accomplice broke into Sajid’s house and abducted Rukhsana. “He beat her up in public and started firing at us when we tried to stop him,” Sajid said, adding “Everyone saw what was happening but no one was willing to stand up to him.” In spite of an application, C division police has refused to register the case or recover the woman.
Later, on court orders, the police recovered Rukhsana and ordered her and Shakeel to appear before the court. Rukhsana told the court that she had left of her own free will and that she was willing to return to her husband. “It is a complete lie. He threatened her because when she was in the court her entire face was bruised,”
Sajid said, adding that Rukhsana had been coerced into a false confession.
C Division Police Station House Officer (SHO) Ch Muhammad Asghar said that Rukhsana had never been abducted. “They made up the entire story. Sajid and his family had her locked up and would not let her return with her husband,” he said, adding “they later filed kidnapping charges against him.”
Sajid said, “The police weren’t willing to file our complaint after we had been shot at and someone was kidnapped but they filed a complaint registered by the kidnapper’s accomplice stating he had been injured.” Police officials registered a complaint by Shakeel’s accomplice, who had stated that he had been injured by a stray shell from the firing.
“There is no case here. The girl said that she wished to return with her husband,” said SHO Asghar.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2011.
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