Held hostage or free at last?

The police registered six kidnapping cases in the city on Friday

Shiraz Hasnat August 07, 2010

LAHORE: The police registered six kidnapping cases in the city on Friday, but expect most of them to be instances where young women left their families with their lovers by choice.

Five of the six cases involve girls   four of them between the ages of 15 and 21 – and were registered under the kidnap-for-rape section of the penal code.

CCPO Aslam Khan Tareen told The Express Tribune that the police register a case whenever they receive a complaint, but had found that most girls’ kidnapping cases were false.

In some cases the police were able to conclude that the cases were fake even before they located the missing girl, he said. “Mostly the parents lodge these cases as a grudge.”

When the girls are produced in court, they usually testify that they left with their alleged kidnapper of their own free will, Tareen said.

“Out of a hundred cases, maybe one or two are genuine while the rest are fake,” said Aftab Bajwa, a senior criminal lawyer. “The parents are angry and do this for revenge. It is a routine practice.”

He said that in some cases, when the police locate the girl and return her to the parents before she is due to record her statement in court, the girls do end up testifying against their lovers because of emotional pressure from the parents.

Of the six kidnapping cases registered on Friday, four appeared to fit this pattern, though police stressed that investigations were at an early stage.

Bashira, a resident of Ghulsan Park, told officials at Baghbanpura police station that her neighbour Noman kidnapped her 21-year-old daughter Kiran from their house.

Complainant Noorul Hafeez told South Cantt police that his 18-year-old daughter Sonia was kidnapped by two young men named Rizwan and Hafeez on a bike.

Also at South Cantt police station, Ismail told police that his 17-year-old daughter Nadia was kidnapped by a man named Ashiq in the jurisdiction of Nasirabad police chowki.

And complainant Bashir told City Raiwind police that his 15-year-old daughter Iqra was kidnapped by Nadeem.

In the other case, 10-year-old Allah Rakhi was reported to have been kidnapped from a house where she was working as a maid. Her father Allah Dita did not name a suspect in his complaint registered at Defence A police station.

Also on Friday, a man named Naseer told Shahdara police that two Ijaz and Shahid had kidnapped his brother Tariq near their residence in Nain Sukh over an old enmity.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2010.

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