Stop the sawara (forced child marriage ) of 12 yr old
A local jirga (leaders) in Manglawar gave away a 12 year-old girl from Bishbanr in swara in the very presence of police. Moreover, after imprisoning the brother and father of the girl, the police threatened them of dire consequences in the event of their opposition to the police-jirga’s decision.
A few days ago, Rozi Khan, a resident of Bishbanr, Manglawar appeared before the local jirga and presented a plea before Shamsher and Abbas, the primary patrons of the jirga where he accused Fazal Rahim s/o Gul Zada of raping his 12- year old daughter.
To the surprise of the bewildered father seeking help of the jirga, the jirga on Friday instead ordered him of giving the girl away in marriage to Fazal Rahim, the main accused. As a settlement, the main accused, Fazal Rahim was also ordered to give his sister in swara to the brother of the victim.
Not accepting the jirga’s decision, the brother of Naziat, the victim of swara tradition, opposed the jirga’s decision and as a result, the jirga held a second session of talks at the Manglawar police station where the police put the brother and father of Naziat behind the bars in order to pressurize them.
“The jirga decided the lot of my 12 year-old sister where we were forced by the police-jirga to surrender Naziat as ‘swara’ to Taj Muhammad, one of the members of the rival family. The jirga warned us of dire consequences should we fail to go against the jirga’s decision,” Fazal Rahim informed.
“I will rather prefer a death than accepting the jirga’s brutal decision to marry Taj Muhammad,” said Naziat, the victim of the appalled apathy of the jirga. On the other hand, her brother, Fazal Rahim, said that he agreed to the jirga’s decision only under pressure from police, however, he wanted to escape the village along with his sister to save the child from the stigma. This he informed the court in a statement.
“There is absolutely no truth in the story that the decision regarding swara was made inside the Manglawar police station as the decision was purely taken by the jirga without the knowledge of police,” Amjad Khan, DSP City said when he was asked to confirm the validity of the allegations against the police.
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