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Recover Arzoo Raja And Shift Her To Shelter Home, Sindh High Court Directs Police

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Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed the police to recover 13-year-old Christian girl Arzoo Raja who was allegedly abducted and married to a 44 year old man after being to forcibly converted to Islam. The court has also directed the police to shift Arzoo to a shelter home.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari also tweeted about the court’s decision. Mazari wrote in a tweet, “On the Arzoo case today, the judge has ordered the girl be recovered by police and relevant agencies and shifted to a shelter home. Next hearing fixed for Thursday morning [November 5]. My lawyer has informed the court that an intervener will be filed on my behalf,”

Spokesperson for the Sindh Government Murtaza Wahab said that Sindh High Court has directed police to find Arzoo in five days on the petition filed by the provincial government.

Activist and lawyer Jibran Nasir welcomed that the provincial and federal government are pursuing the case for Arzoo. “There is a lot to learn from the injustices committed in this case first by the accused and then by our governance system. With both governments on board hope this case will become ground for renewed focus on child rights,” he added

The Christian girl was abducted from her home in Karachi and forcibly converted to Islam after which she was married to a 44 year old man. The accused had claimed that the marriage took place with the girl’s consent and an affidavit was presented in the court as evidence. But rights activists have noted that a minor’s consent to marriage cannot be considered legal. They have also pointed out the possibility of Arzoo being coerced into giving the statement.

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Earlier, the court had ruled that the marriage was legal and handed over the custody of Arzoo to the 44 year old man.

 

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Naya Daur