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Saturday April 20, 2024

Court allows Dua to go anywhere she wants

By Numan Wahab & Faraz Khan & Arshad Dogar
April 27, 2022

LAHORE/ KARACHI: In a major development on Tuesday, Dua Zehra, one of the missing teenage girls from Karachi was found in Pakpattan district of Punjab province. A day ago, another teenage girl Nimra Kazmi and a young woman Deenar, who had both disappeared from Karachi in the last 10 days, were also found in Punjab.

Dua Zehra is one of the three girls who went missing from Karachi during the last 10 days and all of them have been found married in Punjab cities. Dua Zehra was found in Pakpattan, Nimra Kazmi was found in Dera Ghazi Khan while Deenar, a resident of Soldier Bazaar, has also been recovered from Vehari.Dua Zehra, along with her husband, was recovered from a village in Pakpattan in the wee hours of Tuesday. The couple was brought to the Okara DPO office.

A police spokesperson issued a statement saying that the couple was being shifted to Lahore into protective custody. He said that the Karachi Police had been informed of every development in the case and every possible coordination was being made. Later, a magisterial court on Tuesday allowed Dua Zehra to go wherever she wants, saying she cannot be forced to go to Darul Aman.

When the girl appeared before the Model Town court, an investigation officer requested it to send her to Darul Aman, to which the court directed Zaheer Ahmad, her husband, to leave the courtroom in a bid to allow her sufficient time to think freely and then record her statement, if she wanted.

After an hour, the girl, while recording her statement, said that she was 18 and had come from Karachi to Lahore at her own free will and no one had abducted her. She said she did not want to go to Darul Aman as she felt secure and there was no threat to her life. After hearing the investigation officer and the girl, the court said the girl could not be forced to go to Darul Aman.

Before coming to the court, the girl had moved the court of another judicial magistrate against her father Mehdi Ali Kazmi and cousin Zain-ul-Abidin, accusing them of barging into her husband's house in Lahore and trying to kidnap her. She said her father was forcing her to marry her cousin Zain-ul-Abideen. She said she had contracted marriage with Zaheer Ahmad on April 17. She had not been abducted or kidnapped and left the house of her parents at her free will. She said her father and cousin had entered her house in Lahore and started beating them on April 17. However, the neighbours foiled the kidnapping bid. She implored the court to take action against her father and cousin. The court has summoned the girl again with further evidence on May 18.

Earlier, a video message of Dua had 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 her cousin Zain. 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 was being verified.

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 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.

Another video message of Dua with Zaheer later came to the fore, where she repeated that she willingly came with the man and married him in court. "My family wanted me to get married with someone else against my wish forcibly. They used to beat me up. I left home on my own and I was not kidnapped by anyone," she claimed.

Meanwhile, Zaheer said he is a resident of Lahore and claimed he knew Dua for three years. He said that they came into contact through an online video game, PUBG. Zaheer also claimed that Dua had come from Karachi at her own will.

A day earlier, commenting on the reports of her recovery, Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) Operations Dr Abid Khan had said the Lahore police have shared the Dua's Nikkahnama with their Karachi counterpart and are using the document to trace her. Later on, the couple was brought to Model Town courts to record girl's statement. Shortly after Dua’s video went viral on the internet, Dua Zehra’s family held a press conference at their residence, presenting documents of Dua, showing her underage. "I was married on May 7, 2005 and I have Dua's birth certificate with April 27, 2008 as her date of birth, confirming that she is 14," the father claimed while rejecting the claims made by his daughter in a video statement, requesting Sindh chief minister and IGP Sindh to bring his daughter back. “My daughter should be handed over to the child protection unit,” the father demanded. He said that her daughter got into contact with the boy through a video game. He also demanded a thorough investigation into the matter. The mother raised suspicion on the Nikah-nama, believing it to be fake.Three separate police teams were formed to trace and recover Dua Zehra since it became a high-profile kidnapping case. CIA DIG Kareem Khan said, "Our team has already reached Lahore. The team would bring Dua back to the city if the court handed her custody to the Karachi Police. Everything now depends on the court. A kidnapping case is registered against the groom in Karachi. There are different issues – some of them have been resolved and some of them have to be resolved. She got freewill marriage was not kidnapped has been resolved but the age issue is yet to be resolved,” the officer explained.

Meanwhile, Dinar, 25, one of the three women who went missing from Karachi during the last 10 days, has been found in Vehari district of Punjab province on Tuesday. She also released a video along with her husband clarifying that she was not kidnapped but she got married at her own wish. The family members had lodged a missing person's application at Soldier Bazaar police station. The brother of the missing young woman had stated in the application that her sister went to teach tuition classes and never came back, adding that her sister was not responding to her mobile phone. Dinar's brother had asked the police to provide assistance in this regard.The police then began the search with the help of missing Dinar’s mobile phone and CCTV cameras installed on her street.

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. After she released the video showing the nikah nama, Dinar's family has withdrawn the case. She married at her own will with a boy named Asad Abbas.