Labourer expelled from village after refusing to give daughter in Wani

SSP Ghotki orders inquiry into expulsion of labourer, his family from Ghotki village 

By: News Desk      Published: 11:42 AM, 8 Jan, 2021
Labourer expelled from village after refusing to give daughter in Wani
File photo.

Taking notice of the expulsion of a labourer and his family from the village and occupation of his land by local landlords for refusing to give her daughter in Wani, SSP Ghotki has ordered inquiry into it, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday. 

According to reports, some influential persons, who had convened an illegal jirga a few days back to settle the case of honour, ordered the labourer, Imam Bux Lolai, not only to marry off his nine-year-old daughter in Wani to a rival party’s male but also pay a ‘fine’ of Rs1.6 million.

On refusal to pay the amount as well as marry off his daughter, the landlords not only expelled the labourer from the village but also grabbed his land and house.  

About 20 days ago, a woman sought justice and protection not only for herself but also for her little daughter in Khairpur after local elders at a jirga decided to exchange the girl as wani for resolving a dispute triggered by a marriage.

The incident occurred near Pir Jo Goth – a town famous for being the centre of Pir Pagara – also known as Pir Pagaro – family.  

According to the details shared by the woman named Shabana, it started a year ago when her husband, Dargahi, contracted a second marriage with a girl from the same clan. In fact, it was a love marriage that resulted in holding a jirga which decided that Dargahi should give his daughter as wani to resolve the matter. And he accepted the conclusion.

However, Shabana says she refused to accept that despite the insistence of her husband. The rejection infuriated Dargahi who forced her to leave the house.

Being a victim of social structure, the mother now wants to protect her daughter against all odds.

Commenting on the issue, police said an inquiry was underway on the complaint filed by the woman, adding that protection would be provided to both Shabana and her daughter.

Wani is a custom under which girls, mostly young or underage, are exchanged to settle disputes – ranging from love marriages to land issues – between two rival families or groups. Given that the majority doesn’t believe in acting according to the will of women, these little girls are traded like a property, who doesn’t even know what is happening around them.

The upper areas of Sindh are notorious for repressive traditions and practices of wani, forced marriages and honour killings. And it is the reason why reports of jirga making such decisions are common there. However, such revelations are just a tip of an iceberg as the victims, fearing for their lives, remain silent in most of the cases amid the absence of any state protection.