IO adds rape charge to kidnap, child marriage case – 17 Aug 2022

Karachi: The investigating officer of the high-profile case of alleged abduction and underage marriage of a teenage girl who had gone missing from her Karachi home in April and was later found to have allegedly married a man in Punjab filed the final charge sheet on Tuesday.

The IO submitted the charge sheet to Judicial Magistrate (East) Aftab Ahmed Bughio, who is seized with the hearing of the case.

Judicial sources told The News that the IO has chargesheeted Zaheer Ahmed (the girl’s purported husband), his brother Shabbir Ahmed, Asghar Ali (a local cleric who solemnised their alleged underage marriage), Ghulam Mustafa (one of the witnesses to the marriage), and six absconding accused: Noor Munir, Khurram Mehmood, Munir Lughmani, Muhammad Umer, Asif Shamsuddin and Muhammad Waseem.

He recommended their trial for the offences they committed under sections 364-A (Kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of fourteen), 363 (punishment for kidnapping), 368 (wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person), 375(vi) (rape with or without her consent when she is under sixteen years of age) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal, read with sections 3 and 4 of the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013.

The magistrate adjourned the hearing until August 20, when he would decide whether or not to accept the charge sheet.

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