RAHIM YAR KHAN-A local (panchayat) allegedly declared a fourth-grader as Vani and married her off to a youth to settle a love-marriage case in Taranda Muhammad Pannah, some 99-km away from here the other day.

Ghulam Fareed, resident of Taranda Muhammad Pannah told local journalists that his son Sabtain got love marriage with Kiran, daughter of his uncle Siraj Ahmed last month and fled the area.

Later, Siraj Ahmed convened a panchayat headed by landlord Malik Sadiq Bhutto, which was attended by Muhammad Ayyaz, Badar Munir, Bilal Ahmed, Dilshad Ahmed, Shaukat Ali, Bashir Ahmed, Shakeel Ahmed and Saleem Ahmed.

Mr Fareed informed that the panchayat also called him into the meeting forcibly. The panchayat declared its decision that 10-year-old Rida, daughter of Fareed would be married off to Imran, son of Siraj to settle the love-marriage issue. Mr Bhutto also announced that if anyone of them divorced his wife or arranged second marriage, an amount of Rs one million fine would be imposed on him.

Ghulam Fareed said that after the panchayat announcement, its members solemnised nikkah of 10-year-old Rida forcibly with Imran after showing her age as 18 years, adding that they also forcibly recorded statement of the girl in a local court that she has married Imran on her own free will.

Fareed alleged that Imran’s family beat up his daughter on daily basis and threaten to kill her. “Look, am a poor person and unable to approach the police against the panchayat’s members who are very strong and influential,” he expressed.

When contacted Taranda Muhammad Pannah Police SHO Muhammad Asghar, expressed his ignorance about the incident, saying he investigate the issue and then take appropriate action.