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SHIKARPUR: Police foiled marriage of a four-year-old child to a groom, five times her age, after a raid in Raman Shar village within the jurisdiction of Dakhan police station, 32km from here, on Saturday.

Police raided the village on Saturday morning after receiving a tip-off and took the child bride into protective custody and arrested her father Papoo Shar, groom Habibullah Shar, 22, father of the groom Gul Meer Shar, nikah khwan Maulvi Kifayatullah Bhutto and witnesses of the nikah ceremony.

Dakhan SHO told journalists that when police reached the girl’s house her nikah had already been solemnised by Maulvi Bhutto and the family was preparing to hand over the girl to the groom’s family.

He said the groom managed to flee on seeing them but police had gone after him and he would be arrested soon.

The girl was betrothed to the man soon after she was born under the old and outdated custom of watta satta, in which a girl was given in exchange for a girl, he said.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2017