kalsoom Love marriage greeted by the torture of a family- one girl is abducted by a Punjab MPA Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch
The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information that six members of a family, including three women and one young girl, were arrested on the instructions of a member of the Punjab provincial assembly (and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N) in retaliation for a love marriage. All have been tortured severely by police in custody, with one man unable to walk. A seventh member of the family, a sixteen-year-old girl, has not been seen or heard of since her arrest, when she was sent away in a car with the parliamentarian. The AHRC believes she is in danger of being raped. Two men and one woman remain in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi.
CASE DETAILS: (As related by the victims and local NGOs)
Miss Kulsoom Baloch, 25, belongs to a wealthy industrial family in Islamabad, which owns cotton mills and has ties to parliament. Her cousin Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch is a member of the Punjab assembly (MPA) and is a parliamentary secretary. The AHRC has been informed that Khulsoom’s family were enraged by her decision to marry Mr. Fazal Abbas, 29, who is from a less wealthy family. The pair were married in Sarghodha–Abbas’ home city 400km away–in a civil court on March 22, 2009.
On April 25 a First Information Report (FIR: a document of complaint) was filed against Abbas at the Airport Police Station in Rawalpindi (Punjab province) by Kulsoom’s brother, Mr Mehmood Ur Rehman. It charged Abbas with the girl’s abduction and rape, and the theft of her jewelry and cash.
Early the next morning Baloch, the MPA, with Mehmood Ur Rehman and Kulsoom’s brother-in-law Mr. Nasir Khan Baloch, along with Mr. Basheer, an assistant sub inspector (ASI) and other police officers, raided the house where Kulsoom was staying. She was beaten severely by each member of the raiding party and asked for the address of her husband’s office. Neighbors intervened and Kulsoom managed to escape.
The same group of men then visited the house of her in-laws in Iqbal colony, Sargodha. They forcefully entered the home and badly beat the women and girls there, asking again for the address of Abbas’ office. After some time, officers and the MPA arrived at the house with Abbas, who was reportedly bruised and bleeding.
They then forced Abbas and his sisters, Mrs Riffat Rani (wife of Shafiq Dogar); Miss Nadia, 19, who is a national badminton champion; Miss Shazia Riaz, 16; and Miss Nazia, 12, into three private cars. Shazia Riaz was loaded into a car with Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch, and has not been seen or heard from since.
At Airport Police Station, Rawalpindi, 400 km away, our reports allege that the three women and Fazal were badly and systematically beaten by Station House Officer (SHO) Mr. Choudhry Safdar and Assistant Sub-Inspector, Mr. Basheer. Basheer reportedly told Nadia that if she were to become his ‘friend’–suggesting some kind of sex act–he would give her certain concessions. The women’s clothing was torn, their hair was pulled and they were thrown against walls. The officers continually asked them where their daughter-in-law Kulsoom was hiding.
Baloch, the MPA, visited the station twice during that period, telling the women that unless they could lead the police to Kulsoom, he would never release Shazia from his personal custody.
After three or four days the women were produced before Mr. Azmat Ullah, a civil judge in Rawalpindi for remand and were charged with aiding the abduction of Kulsoom when she married their brother. Remand was granted, and the judge ignored the girls’ claims that they had been severely tortured. Nadia also tried telling the judge that since she was the national badminton champion he should consider the pride of the nation; he reportedly laughed at her.
In the meantime, on April 28, officers at Brana Police Station, Jhang, Punjab arrested Mr. Shafiq Dogar, the husband of Fazal’s elder sister, and charged him with stealing. The case was filed the next day. This police station lies in the electoral constituency of Iftekhar Ahmed Baloch, the MPA. On May 3 Dogar was taken by ASI Basheer of Rawalpindi and two of Kulsoom’s brothers, Mehmood ur Rehaman and Saif ur Rehman to the Airport Police Station, where he was beaten so badly he lost the use of his legs. He believes that they are broken, but has been given no medical care. On May 12 Dogar was produced in a wheel chair before the same civil judge, Mr. Azmat Ullah, who showed the same indifference to his injuries. He was released on bail for charges of theft, but remanded further on a new charge of aiding Kulsoom’s abduction.
After Dogar’s arrest on the 28th his wife was released from custody. Nadia and Nazia were released on bail on May 6, but when their mother, Mrs. Nasrin Akhtar, 50, collected them at Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, she was arrested. She was taken to the Airport Police Station and beaten by the same SHO and ASI, and bears the torture marks on her back and hands. She is currently in Adiala jail on the orders of civil judge Azmat Ullah.
The family have filed a case regarding the illegal arrest and torture, however the continuous arrest of family members and threats from the Baloch family have sent them into hiding across Pakistan, and they are unable to pursue their case.
LAHORE: Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court Khawaja Muhammad Sharif on Friday took notice of the registration of fake cases against the husband and in-laws of the girl, who had contracted a love marriage, at the behest of a PML-N MPA from Jhang.
The chief justice also summoned the police officers concerned for Monday, along with complete record of cases registered against the in-laws of 25-year-old Kulsoom Rehman Baloch of Islamabad, who had taken refuge in Karachi. The chief justice also directed the police to produce the arrested in-laws of Kulsoom. The whole story of police highhandedness at the behest of the PML-N politician was published in The News on Friday.
According to the news item, Kulsoom Baloch had contracted a marriage with a man outside her clan against the will of her family. Owing to her marriage, her family and her cousin, a PML-N MPA, used political influence and got an FIR registered against Kulsoomís husband Fazal Abbas under sections 365-B and 379 of the Pakistan Penal Code for abducting Kulsoom and committing robbery. The case was registered with the Airport Police Station, Rawalpindi.
After the case was registered, the police raided the house in which Fazal and Kulsoom were living separately but they escaped. The same day, the police also raided the house of Kulsoomís in-laws where, in the absence of a female constable, her mother and sisters-in-law were beaten up.
madem Riffat Rani ( sargodha pml- N city
The police barged into the house and asked about Fazal and Kulsoomís whereabouts. They dragged Fazalís mother and sisters out of the house and took them into custody. Fazalís two teenaged sisters were sent to the Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, where they remained till their release.
Later, on April 28, officers from the Barana Police Station (Jhang) arrested Fazalís elder sister Riffat Raniís husband, Shafiq Dogar, claiming that an FIR (202/2009) was registered against him under section 406/380 of the PPC. The news item said the police severely tortured Shafiq and broke his legs in custody