Tuesday Apr 26, 2022
LAHORE: A court in Punjab's capital Tuesday ruled that Dua Zehra — the girl who mysteriously went missing from Karachi around 10 days back and was found today — was free to go wherever she wants.
Lahore Model Town Court's Judicial Magistrate Tasawar Iqbal rejected the police request to shift the girl to Darul Aman after she was presented before the court hours after her video statement came to light.
Before announcing the verdict, the judge sent her husband, Zaheer, outside the courtroom to record her statement.
Dua told the judge that she was 18 years of age, came from Karachi to Lahore willingly, no one had kidnapped her, and she did not want to go to Darul Aman.
"I am safe, my life is not in danger," Dua told the judge. Following this, the judge ordered that she be allowed to go "wherever she wants", and the police let the couple go free.
Dua had earlier filed a case against her father Mehdi Ali Kazmi and a cousin, Zainul Abideen, in a Lahore court. Despite the case being filed in Lahore, the police have claimed they found the couple from Pakpattan.
The Punjab police spokesperson had also said that the Karachi police were informed of every development in the case, and all possible coordination was being made.
Meanwhile, in her case, Dua had accused Kazmi of barging into her house in Lahore and trying to kidnap her with the help of her cousin.
"My father wanted to force me to marry my cousin Zainul Abideen. My father and Abideen storm into my house and verbally abused and threatened me and my husband," Dua said in her complaint.
She said that her neighbours foiled the kidnapping bid.
Dua also said that she has married of her own free will, and she is "living a happy life with my husband".
Maintaining that she wants to stay with her husband, Dua demanded action against Kazmi and Abideen under the code of criminal procedure.
The magistrate's court took up Dua's case and summoned her with evidence against her father on May 18.
Moreover, Dua also filed a separate petition against harassment at a district and sessions court.
Meanwhile, a video message of Dua has 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 someone else.
The couple were reportedly staying at Zaheer's uncle's home.
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 is being verified.
It is being reported that the couple have filed a harassment petition at a sessions court, where Dua also recorded her statement on April 19.
As per the sources, Dua and her husband are expected to record their statements with the police.
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 the 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.
Soon after the video message surfaced, Dua's father, in a press conference, denied her claims questioning how his daughter could be 18 years old when he had not even been married for 18 years.
Mehdi Ali Kazmi said he was married on May 7, 2005, and he has Dua's birth certificate with April 27, 2008, as her date of birth.
He demanded the authorities bring Dua back to them or shift her to a child protection centre. He also demanded a thorough investigation of what actually was the matter in this case.
"I request Sindh inspector general, and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to bring my daughter back. I fully trust the child protection bureau [...] hand the girl over to them.
"My daughter is saying what she is told to say. [...] The boy trapped my daughter through the in-game messaging system," Kazmi said.
Moreover, Dua's mother said that as a lawyer's daughter she has aware enough to know that the marriage certificate is not legal.
"The nikah nama does not have the seal of the person who solemnised the marriage," she said.
The person whose name is written on the marriage certificate has also refuted reports of solemnising the marriage, she added.
Dua's mother expressed concern that her daughter might have been blackmailed through a video.
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 has come from Karachi of 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 nikkah nama with their Karachi counterpart and are using the document to trace her.
"There is no truth to the reports of Dua's recovery [...] the real facts behind this matter can only be verified once the girl is in our custody," the police officer had told journalists.
The case of the mysterious disappearance of the teenage girl from Karachi’s Al-Falah shook everyone. She went missing from the Golden Town area 10 days ago, triggering a sense of fear among the masses.
Police conducted multiple raids but failed to find the girl. The police had claimed that she might have left the house of her own choice but the family had rejected it.