A local court on Thursday sent a man, who allegedly married minor Christian girl Arzoo, to jail in judicial custody after police completed investigation with him.
Police presented Syed Azhar Ali before the District South judicial magistrate XXVIII on the expiry of his physical remand. The investigation officer (IO) informed the court that the suspect’s custody was no longer required for investigations.
The IO also submitted a progress report to the magistrate, stating that Nikah Khawan Qazi Abdur Rasool had obtained interim pre-arrest bail from a District South additional sessions court against a surety of Rs50,000.
He added that police were searching for the other suspects who acted as the Vakil and witnesses during the nikah of 14-year-old Arzoo with Ali who is said to be thrice her age. He sought more time from the court to arrest the absconders.
According to the FIR which was lodged by the girl’s father Raja, the girl went missing on October 13 after which he approached police to find her. Later it transpired that she was in the custody of Ali.
Police had arrested Ali’s brothers, Syed Shariq Ali and Syed Mohsin Ali, and his friend Danish over their alleged involvement in the abduction and forced conversion. However, they were granted bail by the same sessions judge.
Initially, the FIR was lodged under the section 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of 14) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Frere police station. Later, provisions of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act were incorporated in the FIR on the directives of the Sindh High Court.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .