Underage girls disappearing but police not taking any action: SHC

Jamal Khurshid
Saturday, May 21, 2022

karachi: Underage girls are disappearing from Karachi but the police are not taking any action for their recovery.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday made this observation as it took exception to the non-production of Nimra Kazmi, a girl who went missing last month from Model Colony and later found to have married a man in Punjab, despite a court order and directed the Karachi police to produce the girl by May 25.

The girl’s family has been claiming that she was under 18 years and could not marry due to the child marriage restraint law. The high court’s direction came on a petition of Nimra’s mother seeking the recovery of her daughter and cancellation of her marriage under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act.

The petitioner, Nargis, said her daughter went missing after leaving the house on April 20 and a case was registered on kidnapping charges. She submitted that the police failed to file a charge sheet with regard to the kidnapping of her daughter despite knowing the confirmed fact that she was in the custody of a man, Najeeb Shahrukh, resident of Taunsa Sharif.

The mother said that Nimra during her confinement at Shahrukh’s house claimed that she had married him but she seemed to be afraid and under pressure.

She submitted that Nimra was 14 years old which is also certified on the National Database and Registration Authority’s (Nadra) certificate as well as the education record and so her marriage was unlawful under the law.

The court was further requested to direct the police to inform it about Nimra’s whereabouts and set her free from the illegal detention of her alleged spouse.

A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro inquired the Saudabad DSP as to why the girl was not produced before the court.

The police officer submitted that a police team had gone to Punjab after receiving the information about Nimra’s presence in Taunsa Sharif and would conduct a raid for the recovery of the girl after obtaining permission from the Punjab home department.

The high court directed the Karachi police to ensure the presence of the girl on the next hearing.

A day earlier, the SHC passed a similar order for the recovery of Dua Zehra, another girl who went missing from Karachi last month and later found to have married a man in Punjab. The girl disappeared from AlFalah Society.