Vani girls ‘divorced’ as police raid Khushab village
MIANWALI, April 18 2006: In an early April 17 morning operation Khushab police saved two minor girls who were made victim of vani custom because their brother had lured a village girl away. A heavy police contingent raided Bandial village and recorded the statement of minor girls and their hapless father. Police also raided the ‘dera’ of jury head Malik Muhammad Yar Bandial who was reportedly missing. Other people who attended the Punchayat summoned the grooms and made them ‘divorce’ the minor sisters orally and in writing.
The proceedings started at midnight and ended early Monday. Khushab DPO Javed Aslam said the action was taken after reports that Malik Bandial had forced his menial, cobbler Ghulam Muhammad, to accept the jury verdict to the effect that he would pay Rs180, 000 as fine to the father of Shehnaz, who eloped with his son, besides giving the hands of his two daughters – Rehana (7) to Muhammad Ramzan (8) and Amna (11) to Muhammad Afzal (28 and already married).
The DPO said a case u/s 310-A & 109 PPC against all those involved in the crime had been registered. HRCP: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan meanwhile expressed shock over the jury verdict which showed that the brutal custom remained deeply entrenched despite tall claims of the government.
HRCP secretary-general Syed Iqbal Haider said here in a press statement that it had already spoken out against the holding of tribal jirgas and the license given to them to decide punishments in which the vulnerable were most often made victims.