Vani case: Minor girl married to 35-year-old man in Vehari

VEHARI: A 12-year-old girl was married off to a 35-year-old married man in an apparent case of Vani, upon the orders of a panchayat (village council), in Punjab’s Vehari district.
According to police, a man named Farooq from Vehari’s town 97/WB married a girl of his choice, who lived in 101/WB.
The couple married five days ago, following which a village council session was held under Union Council In-charge Nazim Raja Fida.
In the session, it was ordered that Farooq’s 12-year-old sister be married to his wife’s 35-year-old brother Sadiq.
Police said four suspects have been arrested, whereas, a case has been registered against eight suspects.
A search is also underway to arrest the remaining suspects in the case.
Police added that the minor girl’s father was also a part of the village council.
The girl’s father has also been arrested, who claimed that he accepted the decision under duress.
Panchayats formed of local elders are a traditional means of settling disputes in Pakistan’s rural areas, where courts and lawyers are not always accessible or trusted.
The legal standing of the decisions taken by these locally formed courts is often considered controversial and disputed.