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Village Council gives two underage girls in marriage by force

ALIPUR,MUZAFFARGARH: A local Panchayat (village council) has given two underage orphan girls into marriage over purported illicit relation of their brother with a girl, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

“The head of the panchayat (Sarpanch) attacked the house of a widow with 10 armed men and beaten the family members,” according to a report.

The panchayat head arranged to solemnize Nikah of 10-year Zehra with Wajid and eight-year Sajida with Majid, report said.

Kundai police station on the report of the incident conducted raids and recovered the minor girls given in Nikah. The Sarpanch has been arrested along with another accused, police said.

Police has also conducted raid at the house of the Nikahkhwan, who solemnized the marriage.

District Police Officer (DPO) Muzaffargarh, Yousuf Haroon, has been ordered to initiate investigation of the incident.

In several parts of Pakistan, village councils an organ of traditional justice system, used to punish a man’s omission or commission by giving the girls’ of that family, even underage, to the men of the aggrieved family in Nikah as ‘compensation’.

Underage and forced marriage is a crime by law. Any person marrying a girl of less than 18 years of age and the person conducting and facilitating such marriage, including the Nikahkhwan are liable for imprisonment and fine over the crime.

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