An 11-year old girl allegedly sold by her father to a 38-year old man ran away from the latter’s house on Monday.
Saima* had been married off to Ehsan Ahmed, 38, a resident of 9/3-R Haroon Abaad, Bahawalnagar, three months ago. Her father Muhammad Bashir, a resident of 38/14-L Kassowal, Chichawatni, had, according to Ahmed’s statement to the police, received Rs115,000 in exchange for her.
Saima told police that she had been chained and sent off with Ahmed, who she said, used to keep her locked up. She said his sister Moonda Bibi would beat her up regularly.
She said that she fled from Ahmed’s house and went to the Haroon Abaad bus station so she could take a bus back home. However, her in-laws followed her and tried to take her back. Saima then began crying and shouting for help and the people at the bus station called the City police.
The police took her into custody and began investigations. They have arrested Ahmed and his sister. Ahmed told police that he had married Saima so he could save her from her father, who was addicted to drugs.
Saima told police that she had not been allowed to go to school and that she wanted to study.
Police have sent a team to Chichawatni to apprehend the girl’s father and collect more evidence in the matter.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2013.