Girl forced to 'pay' for brother's love marriage

| Landlord abducted the girl, made subject to gang-rape, later declared vani | Police connived with accused as usual | DPO assures victim family of justice

BAHAWALNAGAR-An influential landlord abducted a girl and made her subject to gang-rape while later declared her as "vani" through a panchayat to avenge her brother for contracting love marrige with the landlord's daughter.
The Takhat Mahal Police appeared to have colluded with the accused in the entire episode and did not take any action to avert the incident and bring the culprits to the book, despite complaints by the affected family.
According to the affected girl Tasleem, daughter of Allah Rakha, the incident occurred in Mauza Noor Muhammad Bhangran, tehsil and district, started with her abduction on January 31, 2017.
Tasleem informed that her brother Fayyaz got love marriage with Parveen Bibi, daughter of Hakim Ali, influential landlord of Mauza Noor Muhammad Bhangran, against the consent of elders of both the families.
The marriage took place on January 15, 2017, upon which Parveen's family hurled threats to Fayyaz's family of revenge. To settle a score with Fayyaz and his family "for the disgrace caused to the family," Hakim Ali, Arif and some others members of the girl's family raided house of Tasleem Bibi and abducted her at gunpoint on January 31, 2017. The victim informed that the culprits took her to an undisclosed location where she was gang-raped during six days captivity.
In meanwhile one Shabir reported the abduction to police through a call on emergency service 15, but the police did nothing to recover the girl or go after the influential culprits. The victim family also approached the Takht Mahal Police, in person, for justice, but the police turned a deaf ear to the complaint.
Seven days later, the abductors with the connivance of influential persons of the area, convened a panchayat and declared the abducted girl as "vani." Influential landlord Muhammad Ali also forced Allah Rakha, Tasleem's father to accept the panchayat decision, lest he would have to pay a penalty of Rs5 million. They also got sign of the affected father on a written reconciliation agreement forcibly. On the other hand, the abductors who had subjected Tasleem to gang rape, forcibly married off to Khuda Yar, nephew of Hakim Ali, in a bid "to sweep the entire episode under the carpet." The victim family, however, managed to get an FIR registered through a court order, six months after the incident. Despite lodging the FIR, the Takhat Mahal Police "sided with the influential accused" and neither included appropriate sections i.e Vani and gang rape in the case, nor arrested any of the accused allegedly after receiving bribe.
The accused approached the court of Additional District and Sessions judge for bails, but the court rejected their application. Later, the accused approached the High Court Bahawalpur bench for bail, but the apex court rejected their petition and upheld the sessions court verdict. The learned court also directed the police to add vani section (310A) to the case.
When contacted newly-posted DPO Ataur Rehman claimed that justice would be done in the case and anybody found involved in the case would be bring to the book. He also ordered the police to add vani section to the FIR and arrested the panchayat head.
Meanwhile, District Police PRO Asif Saeed informed that that after rejection of bail pleas of 10 accused including Alam Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Ali; Zahoor Ahmad, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Hakim Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Qasim Ali, son of Haji Ghulam Qadir; Muhammad Iqbal, son of Dhulay Khan; Muhammad Khan, son of Dhulay Khan; Dhulay Khan, son of Manjay Khan etc are on remand in police custody. He said that special team have been formed to arrest head and other members of the Panchayat, who are at large so far.

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