UMERKOT: A women’s police squad raided a house in Sindh’s Umerkot district and stopped the marriage of an underage girl who is since missing, her relatives claimed on Wednesday.
The 13-year-old girl’s family has alleged that the police stopped the marriage on the orders of a local feudal lord and took her with them. “The police took her with them and she has been missing since,” the relatives said.
However, police officials said they handed the girl over to her family after questioning. A written agreement on this is available, the police said.
The officials further explained that they raided a house on April 18 after receiving information that a 13-year-old girl was being married to an eight-year-old boy.
Upon hearing of the raid, the groom and the person who was supposed to solemnise the marriage ran away, police added.
“However, we took the girl, her sister and mother into custody and handed them over to their relatives after recording their statements,” the officials said.
They also upheld that while handing over the 13-year-old girl, they had a written agreement with her relatives stating they will not get her married before she turns 18.
After reports of the case went viral on social media, IG Sindh AD Khawaja had called for an inquiry into the incident and also suspended Umerkot Women’s Police SHO Khushbakht to ensure the independent inquiry was not influenced.
The girl’s family had also registered a case in a district and sessions court under Section 22(A) against two local feudal lords and police officials.
The district and sessions court judge had earlier summoned the girl’s relatives, police officials and local feudal lords, however, the hearing was adjourned till May 5 after no one appeared before the court.
Meanwhile, SP Umerkot Usman Bajwa has vowed there will be substantial progress in the case today.-Web Desk