Police have recovered a teenage girl from the custody of her maternal uncle, who allegedly held her hostage for three years. The accused also allegedly raped her and she gave birth to a boy, who is now two years old.
The police quoted Shahzeb* of Sera-e-Saleh village as saying that five years back, he along with his family relocated to Dakhan village of Abbottabad in pursuit of better livelihood opportunities. His brother-in-law Faisal* also came to live with them, on the pretext of a job hunt in Haripur.
However, Shahzeb said that three years back, when he was away from home, his daughter Shireen* 15, went missing. He lodged a complaint with the police but failed to find her.
In an eerie twist, Faisal also left the house, saying that he was more interested in living in his native Dakhan village.
Upon the disappearance of his daughter, Jehanzeb expressed a strong suspicion about Faisal being the culprit. His doubts were confirmed when three days back he found out that his daughter had been abducted by her maternal uncle, who was based in the same village.
On a tip-off, the Sera-e-Saleh police and Abbottabad police jointly raided the house, where the accused had kept the girl hostage and recovered her along with her toddler son.
The victim told the police that on the day of her disappearance, Faisal had asked her to accompany him to the market. But as she stepped out, he forcibly dragged her into a vehicle and took her to Dakhan village. He locked her in a house and raped.
“I tried to run away many times, but all of my attempts were thwarted (by the accused),” she said, with tears rolling down here cheeks. She said she would go to all extents to take Faisal to task; “I will never forgive him”. Shireen said she will never marry and spend her life taking care of her son.
While condemning the incident, a local religious leader, Hafiz Ahsan, demanded that the accused be punished under the Shariah Law. Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Javed Qureshi, said that the incident reflects the “erosion of social values”.
Police have registered a criminal case against Faisal under sections 365-B and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code. However, the accused is being kept in Mansehra Jail in another criminal case and would be taken to Haripur for interrogation, said Sera-e-Saleh Senior House Officer Abbas Khan.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2012.