Lassan Nawab Police Station House Officer (SHO) and twelve other accused of solemnising a forced marriage were sent to Mansehra District jail on judicial remand on Wednesday.
The accused were produced before the judicial magistrate of Mansehra after expiry of their police remand.
The case came to light after Anila*, 17, a resident of Jaskran village, accused SHO Shad Muhammad Khan and 15 others of coercing her into solemnising marriage with Qari Naveed on the night of March 5. The ninth-grader claimed that Naveed, a driver in his fifties, barged into her house and forcibly took her to a seminary to marry her. However, the seminary’s principal, who was a relative of Naveed, allowed her to go home with her mother.
Anila claimed that when she approached the police to lodge a complaint, the SHO put her father in lockups and started pressing her to sign a marriage contract with Naveed. The same evening, the SHO called a jirga at the police station which decided to marry her to Naveed. The jirga also decided that his sister should be married to Babar, who was engaged to Anila.
According to Anila’s account, the SHO arranged his own registrar and nikah khwan (contracting officer), after which she was taken to Naveed’s native village.
She accused the SHO of threatening to implicate her father in fake cases if she refused to sign the marriage contract.
An inquiry later found the SHO and others guilty of solemnising the forced marriage.
The police registered an FIR against SHO Khan, Naveed and his father Qari Mushtaq, nikah khwan Qari Abdul Latif, Irshad, Javed, Salim, Farooq, Khan Bahadur, Aurangzeb and six others.
With four accused still at large, police said that the influential locals are trying to reconcile an agreement between the two families.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.