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Protests held against alleged abduction, forced marriage of underage girl from Gilgit

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Gilgit Baltistan | March 25, 2024 3:26:10 PM IST
Protest demonstrations took place in Hunza and Islamabad on Sunday in response to the alleged abduction and forced marriage of an underage girl from Gilgit Baltistan, Dawn reported.

The 13-year-old girl disappeared from Sultanabad village in Gilgit four days ago.

In Hunza, the protest was held at Karakoram Highway in Aliabad, drawing a significant turnout of activists from various political parties, as per Dawn.

Participants held placards demanding the girl's recovery without her being forced into marriage.

According to Dawn, the Awami Workers Party organized the protest against the purported abduction and forced marriage of the student.

AWP senior leader Baba Jan accused the Gilgit-Baltistan police of protecting those involved in the abduction and forced marriage of the underage girl.

He said that, "the girl's father was a laborer, due to which both the police and the alleged abductors were trying to pressure him. He threatened a large protest at Ittehad Chowk of Gilgit if the police did not show seriousness and recover the girl."

Ikram Baig Jamal, Akhun Bai, and others also spoke on the occasion.

The protesters demanded that the girl be recovered immediately. They said forced statements were being made about the girl.

Simultaneously, civil society activists, child rights organizations, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, lawyers, journalists, and representatives from various political parties convened a separate protest outside the National Press Club in Islamabad, urging the immediate recovery of the girl.

They also demanded a transparent investigation into the case.

The protesters questioned the role of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Rights Commission as the unlawful marriage was solemnised in the Mansehra district of the province.

Moreover, the suspects also applied for a transit bail at Peshawar High Court, which makes it mandatory for the Child Rights Commission to investigate, respond, and rescue the child.

A video posted on social media by the alleged abductors of the girl claimed that she was married to a 17-year-old boy. This age is also not legal for marriage under Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Act of 1929.

Furthermore, in the video, the suspects showed the girl older than her actual age contrary to her original Nadra issued birth registration certificate. (ANI)

 
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