Hudood case girl changes statement, goes with brother
HYDERABAD, July 20 2006: Teenager Naima Aziz Jumani on July 19 backed out of her earlier statement when produced before a judicial magistrate here on July 19. Recording her statement before the civil judge and judicial magistrate-VII, she accused Jamshed Mallah, who still claimed her his wife, of subjecting her to assault twice after kidnapping her. Judge Niaz Hussain Soomro allowed her to go with her elder brother Umair Aziz Jumani. The Bhittai Nagar police had produced her before the court. She testified before the court in the presence of Jamshed Mallah, who was remanded to police custody on Tuesday for three days.
Naima stated that on July 17, 2006, Jamshed and two unidentified men had kidnapped her from her house. The statement stunned Jamshed Mallah and he collapsed in the court. The girl was weeping while testifying before the judge and Jamshed was trying to draw her attention: “Naima, please, do not cry. Tell me, did I kidnap you?”. Naima Jumani, who has just appeared in the first year examination, said that when the doorbell rang on July 17, she went to the door and found three persons, including Jamshed Mallah. Jamshed was carrying a pistol, she added.
“I was abducted and taken in a car to a village where Jamshed assaulted me while two other persons stood outside,” her statement read. She also alleged that the three person had threatened to kill her brother Umair Jumani. “Then Jamshed took me to his house and raped me again,” said Naima. The judge asked: “Do you know what the word ‘excess’ means?”. When she replied in the affirmative, the court said she could take another two-three hours or as much time she wanted, but she should give a statement without any pressure.
She told the court that the police had arrested her and the three accused when they were shifting her to some other place. She hugged her brother in courtroom after completing the statement. Jamshed told the court that she was giving statement under pressure and was accusing him. “I am innocent; I have done nothing wrong,Â” he said. The judge asked him if he himself wanted to cross-examine the girl, or his counsel should be given the opportunity. Initially, he insisted that he would do it, but later his counsel, Pir Bux Bhurgari, cross-examined her.
Asked if earlier she had given a statement of her own free will before the court, she replied in the affirmative, saying that Jamshed and his companions were sitting outside the court. Asked if she had appeared before a Maulvi for Nikkah, she conceded that she had appeared before him to marry Jamshed. She however denied that she was recording her statement under pressure from her family. She also rejected a report that she and Jamshed had been picked up from Sehwan when they had boarded a bus.
The court received a Rs1 million bond from Umair Jumani for protecting the girl. It remanded the custody of Jamshed Mallah back to police till July 21 when he would again be produced by the Bhittai Nagar investigation police. Â“What should I say? It’s a great injustice to me,” said an upset Jamshed, who was completely speechless after court proceedings. When media personnel pressed him to say a few words, he appealed to the Supreme Court to take notice of the matter. “She is lying; her statement is completely incorrect as she is under pressure of her family,” he said.
He said police had also pressurized her. He recalled that they had fallen in love seven to eight months ago. Jamshed was seen asking lawyers present in the court as to what would happen to him after the charges of rape and abduction levelled against him. He found himself in a more difficult position when his brothers and other relatives, who had arrived the court, left the venue on knowing the contents of girl’s statements. “We apprehend our arrests that’s why we left the court premises,” Nazeer Mallah, brother of Jamshed Mallah, told Dawn on phone.