Reeaz Khan breaks silence on alleged abduction
…teen’s mother denies consenting to sleepovers
June 1, 2004
CITY businessman, Reeaz Khan came out publicly for the first time, yesterday, to refute allegations levelled against him by the mother of a teenaged girl.
He said that the girl’s mother, Bibi Shameeza Hamid, has embarked on a witch hunt to destroy him.
Hamid is the mother of a 13-year-old girl whom she claimed Khan abducted last month.
The girl got away from home for the second time on Saturday night and has not been seen by her family since.
When questioned, Khan said that he too did not see her.
The businessman has declared that he has not been in contact with her since the court order on May 20.
A High Court order, based on a writ of habeas corpus, blocked Khan from communicating with the girl and from being in her presence.
The saga began when the three—Hamid, her daughter and Khan— travelled to Parika on March 28 to distribute food items to the poor.
The same day, Khan said, his relative held a religious function on West Coast Demerara. Hamid and her daughter attended after assisting to distribute food items to the destitute at Parika.
Instead of returning to their West Bank Demerara home after the function, Hamid and her daughter travelled with Khan to his home in Georgetown.
He said they spent about a week there. The mother left alone, but returned a few days later to spend some more time.
In an interview, Hamid declared that she had only spent one night at Khan. She said that she had taken her daughter to Khan to pursue a programme of work study at Khan’s request. She said that Khan promised that at the end of each day her daughter would return home.
The woman said that at the end of the first day, when her daughter did not come home, she went to Khan’s home the following day.
She said that it became late and at Khan’s invitation, she spent the night. Early the next morning, she left for home, leaving her daughter with Khan. Again, her daughter did not go home.
On April 19, Hamid went to Khan’s home and asked her daughter to return to their West Bank home but the girl refused to go with her.
Khan said later on the same day, he decided to take Hamid’s daughter back to her home.
They stopped at her aunt’s home on West Coast Demerara and were met there by Hamid.
Khan said that Hamid’s daughter, on that day, revealed the stories of the severe ill treatment and beatings at the hands of her mother to the relatives present.
Upon hearing this, Hamid left her sister’s home.
Her daughter became fearful and told Khan she was afraid of what consequences she would suffer at the hand of her mother if she returned home, the businessman said.
From thereon, Hamid’s daughter stayed at Khan’s home until the mother arrived with the police on April 28.
Hamid said that she reported to the police that Khan had abducted her daughter. The police investigated and later handed over the matter to the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security.
The Ministry ordered that the girl be placed at the Mahaica Children’s Home. The order was executed.
The mother did not agree to this and filed a writ of habeas corpus against Minister Bibi Shadick and Reeaz Khan.
At the same time, she alleged that Khan had abducted her daughter from the home.
“There must be some reason why the girl keeps running away from home and why the Ministry chose to send her to the Children’s Home instead of her maternal home,” Khan’s lawyer stated.
He also questioned why the High Court ordered joint custody of the child and not custody by her mother alone.
“The public needs to understand that the mother is dishonest,” Khan said yesterday. “On March 28, she consented for her daughter to stay at my home.”
He stated that consent by the mother was evident from the manner in which the three of them went about the city on several occasions, had dinners and took out photographs of the occasions.
“I was shocked to see what the mother caused to be publicised in the newspapers; and I am upset that Stabroek News did not even contact me for a comment on the issue.”
Khan stated that Hamid never had any intention for her daughter to do work study at his business.
However, Hamid insisted that there was a work study arrangement.
Recounting the latest flight of her daughter, Hamid told Kaieteur News yesterday that her daughter slept on the same bed with her aunt in the aunt’s home.
She said that the aunt awoke to find the girl missing at around 23:00 hrs on Saturday night.
Hamid said that when a check was made, the aunt found that the back door was opened.
She said that the aunt raised an alarm and when both of them rushed out of the home, they saw the girl leaving in a vehicle, PEE 9269 which belongs to Khan.
But in an interview done with another newspaper, Hamid said that her daughter had left in a vehicle with licence plate number PCC 3725, under the authority of Khan.
Khan has vehemently denied any links to the latter vehicle.
Hamid acknowledged that her daughter wants to stay with Khan of her own free will.
“She said she would stay with him no matter what,” Hamid said yesterday. “She said she would do anything to stay with him.”
Kaieteur News was told stories by persons close to the family of alleged maltreatment and mental abuse meted out to the daughter by Hamid.
These were all denied by the mother.
Khan charged that Hamid solicited several favours from him during that period, including requests for money.
The mother recalled receiving $20,000 on one occasion which she said was to purchase a pair of spectacles for herself.
Khan admitted acceding to some of her financial requests.
Hamid told Kaieteur News that she had taken out several photographs at various places on West Coast Demerara. However, she could not recall taking out any photograph having dinner with Khan and her daughter. However, Kaieteur News has such photographs in its possession.
“She (the daughter) told me of some horrible cases of abuse by the mother,” Khan said. “Never in my lifetime have I heard of such stories.”
On May 20, Justice B.S.Roy ordered that Hamid’s daughter be placed in the joint custody of her mother and aunt.
Justice Roy also ordered that Khan be restrained from any communication with Hamid’s daughter until further notice.
The matter is returnable to court on June 4.
The girl’s father resides in Venezuela and Hamid said yesterday that she tried to contact him to inform him about the issue but was unsuccessful.