June 30, 2020

By Amir Taqvi


KASUR: Thirty four year old Sumaira Bibi tied the knot with a man named Ashraf three years ago. Sumaira was the resident of Allahabad, a small village near Chunian while Ashraf lived in the town of Baloki. The couple was blessed with a baby boy.

But soon after that, severe differences emerged between them. Sumaira claims that she was forced by her husband to prostitute but she refused to fulfill this illicit desire.

“After one year of marriage, Ashraf took me to a hotel, which was co-owned by him. He had kept four or five girls there and ran a brothel. One of them also asked me to take part but I refused and lodged a complaint against him in the police,” she said.

To escape from the cruelty and to save her honor, Sumaira came back to her mother’s home. But, Ashraf kept the year and a half old baby with him and tried to use the child as a bargaining chip. He wanted Sumaira to live with him and be a part of his activities.

But, Sumaira said she did not want to spend even a second of her life with Ashraf. So, she decided not to go back even to meet her little son. She filed a petition in a local family court to get khula from her husband and the custody of the child.

According to the Islamic laws for Sunni Muslims, the mother is entitled to the custody of her child up until the age of seven years for males, and puberty for females.

Sensing the severity of the matter, Ashraf sent a woman named Nazia to Sumaira’s home with a message of a reunion on June 18. She offered Sumaira that if she reconciled with her husband and withdrew the case then he would not only return the child to her but would never force her for prostitution.

Somehow Nazia managed to persuade Sumaira and took her to the Patoki bypass. On the bypass, Ashraf with the help of Nazia forcibly put Sumaira in the vehicle and took her to Baloki.

They locked up her in a room and after some time came and tortured her. “They shaved my head and after that two men, Abid and Zain entered the room and raped me,” said Sumaira sobbing.

Sumaira said that she filed a complaint in the City Police Station of Patoki against the perpetrators but instead of lodging the First Information Report (FIR), the police asked her uncomfortable questions.

The FIR was lodged only after the media reached the police station to cover the story. However, Sumaira was not hopeful that the Patoki police could deliver her justice.

When Voicepk.net asked the police about the progress in the case, SHO Nasarullah Bhatti said that the accused were on pre-arrest bails and the police would try to cancel their bail and arrest them.

Sumaira alleged that she was being continuously harassed and intimidated by the accused to withdraw the FIR otherwise they would kill her child.

Voicepk.net tried to take Ashraf’s point of view through WhatsApp messages but he refused to talk.

Sumaira has appealed to Chief Minister Punjab and District Police Officer (DPO) Kasur to arrest the accused and bust his illegal and immoral activities to save the lives of numerous girls.