Sunday, October 16, 2011

Child marriage: Drug addict ‘settles debt’ by handing over daughter

Child marriage: Drug addict ‘settles debt’ by handing over daughter

Published: October 12, 2011

Arif and Faryad owed Abid Rs15,000, Nazia was given to square away debts.


Nishatabad police has arrested a man and nikah khawan on charges of solemnising a nikah with a 12-year-old girl on Tuesday.

According to details, Mohallah Haidarabad resident Faryad Khan was a long time drug addict and forcibly wed his 12-year-old daughter Nazia to a man named Abid.

Khan also took a thumb impression from Abid after serving him hemp leaves in milk during the wedding. “The groom was given bhang during the ‘doodh pillai’ rasm and six men forced him to sign something on blank sheets of paper,” said an eyewitness Muzaffar.

According to police officials, Khan’s younger brother Arif contracted his niece Nazia’s marriage with Abid, 32. “Both brothers are long term drug addicts and their motivations for giving the girl are not yet fully clear but they were the ones who wanted the match,” said a guest at the wedding. “The brothers owed Abid Rs15,000 in debt and when neither of them had the money they told him to take the girl instead,” said a wedding guest Pervaiz.

A nikah khwan Maulvi Bahadur Khan reportedly solemnized the nikah of the minor with Abid after taking Rs 1,500 from Arif and Faryad. “At first the maulvi refused but he was paid to perform the nikah ceremony and he eventually agreed,” Muzaffar said. “He performed the ceremony but didn’t register it in the nikah register or his records,” he added.

Nazia’s mother Nargis told police that she had made repeated appeals to her brother-in-law Arif to put a stop to the marriage but he refused. “I told him that my daughter was too young but he assaulted me. He kicked me out of my own house for trying to defend my daughter and then they didn’t tell me where the ceremony was being performed,” she said. “That was when I contacted police,” she added. Nargis told police officials that her husband was a drug addict and had squandered all their money. “We have been depending on Arif to look after us but he was under debt too. He had borrowed money from Abid and when he couldn’t pay up Abid said he would take my daughter instead,” she said.

Arif allegedly tortured Nargis and then turned her out of her house two days before her daughters ‘marriage’.

Nargis then moved an application before the police and a police team raided the wedding function and arrested the nikah khwan Bahadur Khan along with the groom Abid and Arif.

Police officials are searching for Faryad Khan.

The police also arrested three witnesses at the function and have taken the men in for questioning.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2011.

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