PESHAWAR, Dec 29: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday directed the district police officer of Upper Dir to collect more evidence to suggest that four-year-old girl Asma is a swara victim, and submit a final charge sheet to the relevant court against the people charged with demanding early handover of the victim of the child marriage custom before killing her father and brother on refusal.

The DPO was also told to ensure early arrest of an absconding accused, Sher Mohammad, or the ‘attachment’ of his properties under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Under the orders of the bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, the DPO is to ask another experienced investigation officer to help the current inquiry officer collect more evidence of the swara demand and two killings under the supervision of the superintendent of Upper Dir police (investigation).

The court also asked provincial advocate general Asadullah Khan Chamkani to regularly secure reports from police about progress in the case and protection to the swara victim and her family.

Under swara widely prevalent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining tribal areas, girls are married mostly against their will to men of rival families to end blood feuds.

On an earlier order of the court, police registered an FIR on December 21 under Section 310-A and 506 of the PPC at the Kalkot police station. Five accused, Naqeeb Ahmad, Sherullah, Izzat Mohammad, Nasrullah and Wazir Mohammad, were produced before the court in handcuffs.

Some elders of the girl’s locality also appeared before the court and denied any role in the case and claimed to have never heard that the accused demanded the girl in swara.

The chief justice warned them that in case they tried to influence the girl’s family, they would be arrested and sent to faraway prisons.

“This is a heinous and inhuman act. Such detestable acts will not be tolerated at all,” he said.

The court also warned a local PML-N leader, Abdul Salam, not to influence the girl’s family for a compromise otherwise he would be charged in the case, after Asma’s brother, Hafeezur Rehman, complained against him.

It ordered police to continue giving protection to the swara victim and her family and warned that if they were harmed, the relevant policemen would be held responsible.

The chief justice had taken a suo motu notice of the swara case after Mr Hafeezur Rehman along with his sister, Asma, appeared before him on December 19 and submitted an application.

According to him, one of his sisters, Ms Rafia, was married to Subhanullah but their relationship later turned sour forcing her into securing khula (divorce) through a family court.

Later, her sister was married to another person in Punjab annoying family members of her ex-husband, including his uncles and brothers, who demanded that his small sister, Asma, who was at that time only two years old, be given to them in swara.

However, his refusal led to the killing of his father, Maulana Daud, and brother Abdul Hameed by them on November 12, 2011 and that they began threatening him and his family.

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