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‘Death warrants’ for love marriage couple

Updated September 08, 2013

SIALKOT, Sept 7: An orphan girl who was in illegal detention and faced ‘death warrants’ issued by a local jury (panchayat) for contracting love marriage was recovered by police on the orders of a court that later sent her to a local shelter home (Dar-ul-Aman) with directions for the safety of the couple.

Ammara Maqsood and Muhammad Salman of Bhaagowal village had contracted civil marriage in a local court on Sept 1 and since then she had been detained by her uncle and his family.

The husband, 22-year-old Salman and his family had moved the court against Ammara’s detention.

The court appointed a bailiff and ordered the police concerned to recover the girl.

On Saturday, Ammara was produced in the court of Class-I Magistrate Imran Yaqub amid tight security that sent her to Daar-ul-Amaan, directing the Sadar police to provide security to her and her husband.

Ammara’s uncle had also got registered an abduction case against Salman.

Ammara told the court that she contracted love marriage with Salman and denied she was abducted by him. She urged the court to provide them with security as they wanted to live a peaceful marital life.

She also told the court that their lives were in danger as a local jury had already issued ‘death warrants’ for the couple in case they refused to end their marriage by Saturday.

The court sent Ammara Maqsood to a local shelter home till tomorrow (Monday) there.

Sources said after the couple contracted love marriage, Ammara’s uncle called a village punchayat (jury) over the issue. Headed by a local PML-N activist, Aman Ullah, the jury gave its verdict that if the couple did not end their marriage through divorce by Sept 7, they would be murdered.

The jury also ordered Salman and his family to leave the village while Ammara was detained by her caretakers, who kept her in chains and were torturing her.

Talking to newsmen by telephone from an unknown place, Salman said his and his wife’s life was in danger as the deadline given by the jury ended on Saturday.

He alleged that Sialkot Sadar police were also obeying inhuman and illegal orders of the jury.

He appealed to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary, prime minister, Punjab chief minister, police IG and the district police officer to take serious notice of the matter and sought security of his own and his wife’s life.