SAHIWAL, March 15: Noor Shah police on Thursday foiled marriage of two minor girls under the Vani tradition in 71/4-R village (Jhoke Sanwal).

Police also arrested nine people, including two bridegrooms, their father and the man who had been called to solemnise the marriage.

Shah Baig (27) and Zafar (25) were being married to Musarrat (7) and Janat (6), respectively, when the police reached the scene and arrested nine of those involved.

Noor Shah SHO Rana Iftikhar told Dawn the police reached the scene before the marriages were solemnised and arrested nine people, including bridegrooms Baig and Zafar, their father Naik Muhammad, brides' grandfather Bashir Ahmed, relatives Zulaikha and Fazal, marriage solemniser Maula Bakhsh and car drivers Mansha and Ashraf.

An FIR (100/12) was registered against them under Section 310-A of the Pakistan Penal Code on Thursday evening and those arrested were put in the lockup at the police station.

Jhok Sanwal resident Allahdad, Janat's father and Musarrat's uncle, killed his wife three years ago and fell in love with Pathani Bibi of Kalyani village near Tandlianwala in Faisalabad district when he was an absconder in the murder case of his wife. Allahdad and Pathani eloped two months ago and got married, but no one knows about there whereabouts. Pathani's family took up the issue with Allahdad's family and a Panchayat (local council) was called in Tandlianwala to settle the issue.

The local council asked Bashir Ahmed to give the hand of his two minor granddaughters to Pathani's brothers as compensation for Allahdad's act and both parties agreed on this arrangement. March 15 was fixed to solemnise the marriages, but someone informed the police and the plan was disrupted.

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