Two women, father freed from bondage of their kin -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Two women, father freed from bondage of their kin

LAHORE, Aug 2: Police have liberated two sisters and their father from a 15-year-long bondage imposed by none other than the man’s son.

Since the three were not in their senses, they were referred to a mental hospital to ascertain whether they were mentally retarded.

The police and Rescue 1122 carried out the operation in Saidpur area on Saturday under the supervision of four coordinators of the Punjab chief minister’s inspection team and two PML-N MPAs.

It was reportedly conducted on the information of some local residents who contacted the CMIT officials and media and said that a man had confined his father and sisters for a long time and never allowed them to leave the house.

The victims were identified as Babu Nazir Ahmed, a retired Wapda employee and his two daughters – Riffat, 35, and Nighat, 27 – who were present in the house which was reportedly locked from outside by their brother Qaiser Mehmood.

The team included coordinators Tanveer Alam Butt, Mian Tariq, Nazir Khan Sawati and Waheed Gull while two MPAs were Nighat Nasir and Kiran Dar, who remained with the victims from rescue work to their hospitalisation.

A Rescue 1122 official said they broke open the lock of a room and recovered Riffat, adding the door was locked from inside and terrified, she was not ready to come out of the room.

The official further said the girls, seemed to be mentally upset and physically weak, were so terrified that they were not ready to leave their residence.

One of the CMIT members and political secretary to the Punjab chief minister, Tanveer Alam Butt, talking to newsmen, claimed that some locals told the team that the three victims had been confined to the house for the last 15 years by accused Qaiser.

Some local residents alleged that Qaiser, who was also an ex-employee of Wapda, had confined his father and sisters and used to torture them mentally besides disallowing them to leave the house.

They further alleged that the accused gave the detainees tree leaves to eat and water mixed with chilly powder to drink.

However, an elderly woman Sharifan Bibi, who introduced herself as paternal aunt of the girls, told Dawn that Qaiser had not confined them. His only sin, according to her, was that he neither married himself nor managed the marriages of his sisters.

“Qaiser was stern and stubborn and always dominated his family but he never confined his sisters and father,” she claimed.

She contradicted claims of some locals that Qaiser provided no food to the victims.

CMIT member Nazir Khan Swati claimed the door of the house was locked from outside and the police and Rescue 1122 personnel entered the house by scaling the outer walls.

He said that accused Qaisar apparently wanted to grab the house, the only property of the family. He said Qaisar had also refused to marry his sisters with a fear that girls’ in-laws would demand share in the house.

The two sisters, who were brought along with their father on a Rescue 1122 ambulances initially to the Services Hospital, were in a state of shock and were stairing aimlessly.

Dressed in stinking clothes, they were unable to speak to the media and para-medical staff apparently owing to their poor state of mind. However, their father Nazir disclosed the names of and ages of his daughters and son.

Kiran Dar, an MPA who was included among the rescuers, told Dawn that some locals had planned in a meeting to inform the government and media about the alleged confinement of the girls and their father.

She said the girls were unable to speak and were acting like psycho, adding the accused Qaiser had escaped from the spot when he came to know about the raid.

She said Nighat, the youngest daughter of Nazir, produced a certificate, which was attached with her clothes, which stated that she had passed intermediate exam in 1990s.

The MPA further said according to other relatives of the girls, who lived in the same locality, Riffat had passed matriculation.

She further said according locals, Qaiser was jobless and locked the house when he used to enter or leave it.

Saddar division SP Faisal Ali Raja told Dawn that the medical report of the three victims would determine the offence, if any.

He said if the report suggested that the victims were medically-retarded, there would be no offence but if the report cleared them then the police would take action against the responsible under section 342 (illegal detention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The victims were shifted to the Punjab Institute of Mental Health for their medical examination. Punjab chief minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif also visited the hospital.
Source: Dawn
Date:8/3/2008