RAHIM YAR KHAN

The police on Friday arrested four panchayat members over marrying off a nine-year-old girl in Vani to a 14-year-old youth in Chak 178-7R, Tehsil Liaqatpur.

The Gulshan-e-Fareed Police checkpost registered FIR no 46/2016 under Section 310 of the Pakistan Penal Code, informed Rahim Yar Khan DPO Zeeshan Asghar.

The DPO told The Nation that the four accused arrested accused are: Gammu Ram, Punnu Ram, Kastura Ram and Kalu Ram.

He said that the accused, belonging Mengwal caste, have accepted that their Panchayat first decided Rs3,00,000 and a Vani as penalty but later they decided Rs1,50,000 and a girl Vani.

Gammu Ram, a resident of Chak 178-7R, tehsil Liaqatpur had murdered his wife Bakhtoo Mai over having illicit relations on February 21. The police arrested the accused and later a minority arbitration court was held in which the nine-year-old sister of accused Gammu Ram was married off to Hari Chand, 14, son of Bakhtoo Mai’s uncle Punnu Ram.

Tabbasum Shaheed police SHO Ch Yaseen said that he is investigating the matter of arbitration court and would be able to say something later.

After the girl’s brother killed his wife, her family suspected a foul play. They convened a panchayat in which it was decided that the nine-year-old sister of the alleged murderer would be married as Vani to a 14-year-old cousin of the deceased wife.

Tabbasum Shaheed Police checkpost In-Charge Ilyas Ali said that as soon as they learnt about the incident, an FIR was registered and then arrested the suspects in a raid. “We also recovered the panchayati order that gave the girl as Vani in marriage to the boy,” he claimed.

He said it was possible more suspects would be arrested in the case.

GIRL MADE VANI FRO SECOND MARRIAGE

On the other hand another Panchayat declared an 11-year-old girl as Vani and forcibly married her off to an 18-year-old youth to settle a second marriage dispute in the urban area of Nooraywali here.

Muhammad Nawaz arranged his second marriage with Kalsoom. However, Influential locals through a Panchayat ordered Nawaz to marry off his 11-year-old daughter Samreen, a Class 7th student, to 18-year-old Muhammad Abbas in Vani.

Samreen and her mother resisted the Panchayat decision but the elders and Nawaz forcibly married Samreen off and prepared Nikkah namma with her fake signatures and age of 18 years. The mother of Samreen approached the C Division Police SHO but he refused to resolve the issue due to influence of the Panchayat members. DPO Zeeshan Asghar told this correspondent that a case has been registered and that no one would be allowed to consummate Nikkah of the girl. He said that both father and nikkah registrar are in the police custody and raids are being conducted to arrest the Panchayat members.