MUZAFFARGARH - On the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the Alipur Police arrested 26 accused for forcing an aged woman to strip off publicly and parade naked after accusing her son of forcibly marrying a girl, the police officials said on Sunday.

The police are conducting raids for the arrest 35 more culprits allegedly involved in the unfortunate incident.  Earlier, Muzaffargarh DPO Rao Munir Ahmed Zia denied this incident and declared it merely a case of kidnapping of an aged woman in revenge for the elopement of a married girl with the son-in-law of the victim.

The police also failed to recover the woman. However, the police have registered a case against 36 nominated accused including Bashir Ahmed, Muhammad Jamil, M Ismail, Bilal, Mureed Hussain, Rajab Ali, Sarfraz, Nasrullah, Muhammad Ali, Imran, Fayyaz Hussain, Ghulam Bashir, Khalid, Yousaf, Saeed, Asif, Shehanshah, Ghulam Shabbir, Pir Bakhsh, Muhammad Amjad, Masroof Hussain, Farooq, Khalid Bakhsh, Liaquat, Akhlaq, Jan Muhammad alias Janu, Rasheed, Puppo, Darvesh, Momin, Haji Ahmed, Muhammad Nabeel Gopang, Muhammad Ali Sheikh and 25 unidentified persons. The incident took place in village Sher Ali Mouza Langar-wah of Ali Pur subdivision, Muzaffargarh district, and is part of a chain of events - which were allegedly neglected by the police.  Manzoor Bibi, wife of Muhammad Bakhsh, along with 10 women of her household, was beaten up and stripped by Rajab Hussain, ex-councillor Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, Muhammad Ali and Ghulam Shabbir and 60 villagers, after they were turned away continuously by police. Manzooran Bibi was the only one, however, who was paraded naked around the village, and subsequently kidnapped.  The kidnappers asked the woman to disclose the whereabouts of her son-in-law Ghulam Nazik who is accused of kidnapping Ahmed Ali’s daughter Azra. Ahmed Ali told that after his daughter was kidnapped, he had visited the police station more than 30 times, but was turned away. According to reports, Ghulam Nazik, a local farmer and Ahmed Ali’s neighbour developed illicit relations with Azra and kidnapped her. Later, he solemnised court marriage with the girl who had already been married off about six months ago. On February 27, Nazik was up to his antics again and tried to grab Azra as she was walking by. Azra, in turn, abused him in front of other villagers. Suffering a blow to his ego, Nazik, who is also father to three children, threatened Azra of ‘dreadful consequences’.

On February 29, Nazik along with his accomplices kidnapped Azra from her home after beating her up in front of other villagers. Her father, Ahmed, along with other villagers went over to Nazik’s residence to recover his daughter, but was turned away by his brothers. He, then, approached the Muzaffargarh Police but they also refused to help. SHO Aashiq Gishkori simply denied lodging an FIR. That is when Ahmed decided to take matters into his own hands. Along with 60 villagers, he approached the residence of Nazik, who had been living with his in-laws. However, Nazik’s father-in-law denied giving any information on the whereabouts of Nazik or Azra. Ahmed and his companions, then, brutally beaten up and stripped more than 10 women in the house. Then they attacked Manzooran Bibi - Nazik’s mother-in-law and paraded her naked around the village, before kidnapping her. Ahmed told Nazik’s father-in-law that he would return his wife when Azra would return.

After the incident, the police immediately filed an FIR against Nazik and his accomplices. On the other hand, the Kundai Police registered an FIR against 36 known and 25 unknown residents of the village in Manzoor Bibi’s case. SHO Syed Asghar Bukhari confirmed the arrests of three unknown and 23 known suspected people.