LHC orders ‘protected’ girl’s recovery by July 30

Express July 27, 2010

LAHORE: Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhary of the Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the Ferozwala police to recover, Saadia, the 13 years old who was abducted from her mother’s residence despite a direction by the court for her protection, and produce her before the court by July 30.

The judge warned DSP Nazar Abbas of Ferozewala police station that if the child was not recovered by the deadline he would not be allowed to continue in the job. How could the police allow the child to be abducted, he asked, after the High Court had directed it to provide her protection?

The LHC had issued directions to the police on July 22 not to harass the child, who came complaining of an attempt to force her into a marriage with an elderly man, her mother or their relatives. The police were also ordered to provide them protection from her father and brother in law, whom she accused of selling out her for Rs70,000.

The order were issued after her mother Kausar sought protection from the court saying her husband and others were harassing her. On Tuesday, her counsel, Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, submitted that despite the court orders, Maqsood Ahmed and others had kidnapped the child the police concerned had refused to register an FIR – dismissing the complainant’s account as a fabrication.

The petition filed by the Judicial Activism Panel (JAP) said that by refusing to act against those involved in child marriages the police were practically supporting the practice.

Advocate Siddique had submitted that the girl’s father, Irshad Ahmed, and brother in law, Mahboob Ali, were forcing her to marry Ijaz, 55, from whom they had received Rs70,000. He said she had escaped marriage by fleeing from her home on July 19. The accused, he said, were harassing her mother and other relatives by arranging police raids for her ‘recovery’. He submitted that Saadia had been separated from her mother three months ago when her brother-in-law Mahboob Ahmed threw her out of the family home for resisting his plans.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2010.


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