An underage bridegroom arrested during his wedding ceremony on January 27 died allegedly in police custody on Saturday. The family of late 14-year-old Ayaz Ali Phulpoto, son of Wazir Ali, has blamed the police for subjecting him to mental torture that claimed his life.
The incident happened in Pir Jo Goth in Khairpur district. The police had allegedly detained the family members of Phulpoto and his bride-to-be, Saima Phulpoto, 13. The police had foiled the marriage before it could be solemnised.
The family alleged that the police also subjected the boy to physical beating and that marks of torture were visible on his body.
The body was shifted to a local hospital for postmortem. SHO Dili Jan Magsi and other police officials of Pir Jo Goth Police Station have been accused of causing the death.
Ghulam Shabbir Phulpoto, a family member, told the local media that the police produced the groom's father before the judicial magistrate who remanded him to jail custody on January 28. The court had also directed the police to immediately release both Ayaz and Saima. He contended that the court's directives were not complied with.
"When we reached the police station on Friday night, the health condition of Ayaz was very critical and he was shifted in emergency to the hospital where he died the next day," he said, adding that Saima also fell ill after hearing the news of his death. The family claimed that both of them liked each other since childhood and wanted to marry.
Meanwhile, the SHO said that they had produced Ayaz, Saima and Wazir Ali before the civil judge and judicial magistrate on January 28. The court granted judicial remand of the father, he said adding that the boy and the girl were handed over to Qaimuddin Phulpoto, a relative who is also a policeman, on the same day.
"Ayaz was at home since that day. The police are being unjustifiably blamed," he maintained. Khairpur SSP Ameer Saud Magsi has formed an inquiry committee under SP headquarters Noshervan Chandio. The committee will submit its findings on Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2021.