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April 8, 2021

Non-bailable arrest warrants issued against couple in underage marriage case

Karachi

April 8, 2021

A sessions court on Wednesday issued non-bailable arrest warrants against a couple in a case pertaining to the abduction and rape of an underage Christian girl who allegedly converted to Islam.

Additional District and Sessions Judge West Gul Zamir Solangi ordered the police to arrest Rehan Baloch and his wife, Sundus, and present them in the court.

The couple has been accused of facilitating the kidnapping and rape of 15-year-old Christian girl, Neha, who purportedly changed her name to Fatima after converting to Islam to marry Imran Baloch.

According to the prosecution, Imran in connivance of his brother, sister-in-law and sister Azra Bibi kidnapped Neha in Ittehad Town in June 2019 and then subjected her to rape. Sundus is maternal aunt of Neha and she had also converted to Islam to marry Rehan.

Police has charged five suspects in the case, including the Nikkah Khawan Qazi Ahmed Jan Raheemi, who is also nominated in the case of Arzoo, the 13-year-old Christian girl who allegedly converted to Islam to marry a Muslim man.

During the hearing, Imran, who is currently in judicial custody, was produced by the jail authorities; however, Rehan and Sundus remained absent again.

The judge issued non-bailable warrants for their arrest to be executed until the next date. The FIR had initially been registered under the Sections 365-B (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel for marriage), 376 (punishment for rape), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Ittehad Town police station on the complaint of Neha.

Later, Sections 3 (punishment for male contracting party), 4 (punishment for solemnising a child marriage) and 5 (punishment for parent or guardian concerned in a child marriage) of the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act were incorporated in the case on the directives of a judicial magistrate.