Saturday April 20, 2024

Lahore court says Dua Zehra is free to go wherever she wants

"I am safe, my life is not in danger," Dua Zehra tells judge; girl files case against her father, cousin

By Ahmed Faraz & Arshad Dogar & Faraz Khan
April 26, 2022

Dua Zehra — the girl who mysteriously went missing from Karachi around 10 days back and was found today — is free to go wherever she wants, a court in Lahore ruled Tuesday.

Lahore Model Town Court's Judicial Magistrate Tasawar Iqbal rejected the police request to shift the girl to Darul Aman after she was presented before the court hours after her video statement came to light.

Before announcing the verdict, the judge sent her husband, Zaheer, outside the courtroom to record her statement.

Dua told the judge that she was 18 years of age, came from Karachi to Lahore willingly, no one had kidnapped her, and she did not want to go to Darul Aman.

"I am safe, my life is not in danger," Dua told the judge. Following this, the judge ordered that she be allowed to go "wherever she wants", and the police let the couple go free.

Dua files kidnapping case against father

Dua had earlier filed a case against her father Mehdi Ali Kazmi and a cousin, Zainul Abideen, in a Lahore court. Despite the case being filed in Lahore, the police have claimed they found the couple from Pakpattan.

The Punjab police spokesperson had also said that the Karachi police were informed of every development in the case, and all possible coordination was being made.

Meanwhile, in her case, Dua had accused Kazmi of barging into her house in Lahore and trying to kidnap her with the help of her cousin.

"My father wanted to force me to marry my cousin Zainul Abideen. My father and Abideen storm into my house and verbally abused and threatened me and my husband," Dua said in her complaint.

She said that her neighbours foiled the kidnapping bid.

Dua also said that she has married of her own free will, and she is "living a happy life with my husband".

Maintaining that she wants to stay with her husband, Dua demanded action against Kazmi and Abideen under the code of criminal procedure.

The magistrate's court took up Dua's case and summoned her with evidence against her father on May 18.

Moreover, Dua also filed a separate petition against harassment at a district and sessions court.

The video message

Meanwhile, a video message of Dua has also surfaced in which she says she was not kidnapped and left home herself and married Zaheer Ahmed. She said her family was forcing her to marry someone else.

The couple were reportedly staying at Zaheer's uncle's home.

A day earlier, Karachi police said that Dua tied the knot with a resident of Lahore. The marriage certificate of the couple has been obtained by the police and is being verified.

It is being reported that the couple have filed a harassment petition at a sessions court, where Dua also recorded her statement on April 19.

As per the sources, Dua and her husband are expected to record their statements with the police.

Dua Zehra has submitted an affidavit in favour of her husband, in which she has confirmed her marriage with Zaheer Ahmed on April 17.

“I didn’t take anything along with me while leaving home,” Dua said in the video statement.

She also denied being 14 years old and said her family had given the police the wrong information.

“I am an adult and my correct age is 18 years,” she said adding that she is living a happy life with her husband and asked not to be bothered.

The case

Dua Zehra went missing from her Karachi home in the Golden Town area of Malir on April 16 after which the family had filed an FIR.

The police launched investigations into the matter which got hype on social media. The FIA was also involved in the matter after it emerged that the girl was browsing the internet to look for court marriage and other related things.

The matter took a twist on Monday when it emerged that she was in Punjab and got married.

The family had said that Dua Zehra turned 14 a few days ago but she claimed that she is an adult.

Missing girls

Dua Zehra is one of the three girls who went missing from Karachi during the past couple of weeks and all of them have been found married in Punjab cities.

Nimra Kazmi, aged 15-16, went missing on April 20 and was found in Dera Ghazi Khan while 25-year old Deenar, a resident of Soldier Bazaar, has also been recovered from Vehari. Both of them have tied the knot.

If the families’ claims regarding Dua and Zehra’s age are true, those who have ‘married’ them and their abettors are liable to face criminal proceedings over child marriage.

Kazmi is 18 according to her marriage document, but her age was mentioned to be around 15 and 16 in the case registered by her mother at the Saudabad police station.

“My name is Nimra Kazmi and my father’s name is Nadeem Kazmi. No one has kidnapped me. I came here on April 17 and married Najeeb Shahrukh on April 18. I have requested the media to remove all my videos and photos,” Nimra said in the video statement.

Her account, however, contradicts the version of her mother Nargis Nadeem Syed, a lady health worker, who told the Saudabad police that she went missing on April 20.

She was traced in Dera Ghazi Khan where she was found to have married a man, Najeeb Shahrukh, according to the Nikah Nama and court documents obtained by The News.

Meanwhile, the brother of Deenar has withdrawn the case after it emerged that she married of her own will with a boy named Asad Abbas.

A CCTV video of Deenar leaving her Soldier Bazaar's house has also come to light in which she can be seen walking out of the residential flats. In April 22 video, it can be seen that Dinar is wearing a face mask.

The family had mentioned the same date of her disappearance.