Prayer leader sleeping with 6-year-old girl end up in police custody
FEROZKOH (Pajhwok): An old man, who has been in police custody for allegedly kidnapping and living with a minor girl in western Ghor province, claims that he has been gifted the six years old by her family in return for spiritual healing. The man has tied the knot with the girl.
Abdul Karim, who looks to be more than 50 years of age, is a resident of Ghor province. He is currently serving as a prayer leader and faith healer in Herat province. Parents of the girl, named Saad Bibi, are among his followers.
Syed Abdul Karim was caught red-handed by people at his Ghor residence while sleeping with Saad Bibi. However, he insisted the girl had been given to him by her family in gift and she was his wife. He claimed tying the knot with the girl in front of her parents and other relatives before bringing her to Ghor
A resident of Ferozkoh, who wished to go unnamed, revealed: “Some nights back, the prayer leader entered a house and introduced himself as Agha. He asked the owner of the house for overnight stay.
“The owner of the house, a woman, allowed Abdul Karim to stay for a night when her husband was not at home. Karim also brought a small girl with himself whom he introduced as his daughter. Late at night, the owner of the house saw the girl sleeping nude with the imam.”
The source said the woman informed her neighbour, who captured the man and turned him in to police. Saad Bibi did not know anything about what was going on and where was she living, the resident disclosed.
But Syed Abdul Karim, who introduced himself as husband of the six-year-old, confirmed tying the knot with the girl in front of a large number of people, including parents of Saad Bibi, on the last day of Ramadan in the Oba district of Herat province. He, however, denied sleeping with the girl.
He claimed being forced to marry the girl and taking her to her sister’s house in the Jwand district of Badghis province. But her sister was away from home and he had no other option but to bring her here and the people arrested him by police.
Abdul Zahir, who introduced himself as the resident of Oba district, in a telephonic conversation, confirmed the minor had been gifted by her father to the prayer leader and the two had married in front of more than 40 people.
Acting Crime Branch Director Col. Mohammad Azim Wakilisaid the girl’s family had informed police over the telephone that their daughter had been kidnapped. “Two nights earlier, residents told us an elder man has been caught with a minor girl in bed. Police reached there and detained them.”
Dr. Nosh Afrin Shahab, a doctor at Ghor Civil Hospital, said medical checkup showed the girl was not tortured and she had no physical issue. But she is worried and mentally unstable.
Women Affairs Director Masooma Anwari said the issue was not yet clear, as they awaited the arrival of the girl’s parents to spell out their stance. Statements from Karim could not be taken at face value, she added.
Ghor is a western Afghan province where grave human rights violations, including stoning, shootings and burning of women, have occurred in recent years. But perpetrators have largely managed to go scot-free
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