Girl in abduction drama flees from relative's home
-desperate mother laments plight
Stabroek News
May 31, 2004

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The heart-wrenching trauma for the mother of a 13-year-old who was allegedly kidnapped by a businessman continued yesterday when the girl fled from her relative's home on Saturday night and apparently returned to the man.

The child's mother, Bibi Shameeza Hamid, yesterday questioned where a desperate mother could go for help for her child as she said it seems that the police and the courts are unable to help her.

Hamid told Stabroek News yesterday that her child escaped from her aunt's house at around 11:15 pm in a small jeep, PCC 3725. She said this vehicle is under the authority of businessman Reeaz Khan who the mother earlier this month accused in habeas corpus proceedings of abducting her daughter.

According to the woman, her daughter used her aunt's cellular phone, without her knowledge, and called Khan and waited until her aunt and uncle were asleep before slipping through the back door.

Hamid lives just a lot away from her sister but by the time she was called out the child had escaped in the vehicle.

"By the time my sister call me out and we run out in the pouring rain is just to see she jumping in the vehicle," the woman told this newspaper.

In her quest for help, Hamid had moved to the High Court seeking to have Khan produce her daughter after he had refused to return the minor to her custody. As a result, on May 20, Justice BS Roy had instructed Khan to release the teenager into the joint custody of her mother and maternal aunt and to avoid contacting her. However, Hamid alleged that Khan abducted the child from her sister's home around 1 am the next day and she was returned to her mother at a private hospital early the following morning.

In a counter-move, Khan's lawyer last Friday moved to the High Court and filed proceedings seeking to have the court allow him to marry the child. This move, Hamid said, she would fight all the way.

Yesterday the woman said she was frustrated, as it appears as if Khan could do whatever he liked.

She yesterday questioned how come he had been allowed to get away with his actions after the judge had instructed him not to make contact with the girl.

She stated that a report was made to the Wales Police Station again yesterday and policemen took a statement from her but nothing else was done.

The woman said when she asked the officers whether they were going to attempt to make contact with man and maybe visit his home they told her they could not do anything and that the Brickdam Police Station was the station to take action.

"I don't understand this, but I think the police frighten this man or something, imagine like nobody ent want help me. I can't go and look fuh she, even if I find she and he ent want let her go how I go get she, I need help," the woman said.

Stabroek News was unable to get a comment on the matter from the Police Public Relations Office yesterday.

The Guyana Indian Heritage Association (GIHA) is the only group thus far to come out in support of the woman in her ordeal. The group in a release yesterday expressed grave concern about the issues raised in this particular case.

The release said that the group met with Hamid on Saturday and she assured them that she was "vehemently opposed to Khan's latest move to settle the matter by marrying her daughter. She felt that Khan is simply using this as a ruse to get himself out of a situation that has become a public embarrassment for him."

According to the release, Hamid related that she had entrusted her daughter to Khan for a work-study programme in good faith and that he had betrayed this trust by having sexual relations with the girl and holding her against her mother's consent.

"While GIHA hopes that the judicial system will provide a just and legal decision in the matter, the group is concerned about the serious moral issues the case raises."

The group stated that in this case where a businessman used his public profile as a senior member of a masjid and his financial clout to lure an unsuspecting parent and her child into a situation where he betrayed their trust, Khan showed contempt for the mores of civilised society and the rules of acceptable and decent behaviour. The group offered support to Hamid and hoped that her daughter would be returned to her care.

Yesterday Hamid related that persons are encouraging her to settle the matter by allowing Khan to marry her child.

"But how could I do that? That is my little child how I could marry her off to a big man like that? I know she is going to be miserable and in the long run he will treat her bad and I am hurting now but I will hurt more if I allow it to happen, I can't do that," the woman said.

"I don't know what to do but things really terrible for me as a mother."

The woman yesterday said that she was afraid that her daughter might be taken out of the country since the child had taken her passport to Khan. She wants all the airlines and travel agencies to be on the alert for this.

Hamid said that sometimes she has no one to talk to and she would lie on her bed, "and just want to go crazy, I just suffering here and feeling it like a mother alone could." She said however that some persons have approached her telling her that they support her stance and she is very grateful to those persons.

Hamid had sworn in an affidavit for the habeas corpus proceedings that the man had abducted the child from an institution she was placed in by the Ministry of Human Services & Social Security. The ministry, she had stated, had placed the child there without her (Hamid's) consent.

She had also stated that she had consented to an offer by Khan to allow the child to participate in a `work-study exercise at Khan's business place during the Easter vacation.

However, on the first `work-study' exercise, the child failed to return home and when her mother visited Khan he informed her that the child was in his care and he did not intend to let her go.

Hamid's matter against Khan is expected to come up again on June 4 before Justice Roy.