13 accused in Mukhtaran Mai case set free

Published: April 26, 2011

Prisoners accused of gang rape case leave after being freed from jail in Multan. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The 13 accused in the Mukhtaran Mai gang rape case have been acquitted and released from Central Jail in Multan on Tuesday.

The initial FIR in the case had been registered against 14 individuals who had been suspected of being involved in the rape of Mukhtaran Mai.

Mai, now 40, was gang raped in June 2002 on the orders of a village Panchayat as a punishment after her 12-year-old brother was wrongly accused of having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan.

A local anti-terrorism court (ATC) had sentenced six accused men to death, but Lahore High Court acquitted five of them in March 2005, and commuted the sentence for the main accused, Abdul Khaliq, to life imprisonment.

The Lahore High Court has now freed all the accused except Abdul Khaliq who has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The case was challenged in the Supreme Court which delivered a recent verdict to reinstate the Lahore High Court’s original verdict.

The Supreme Court ordered the release of nine accused persons from the Mastoyi tribe and four other accused who had been held in the jail due to the resemblance of their names with the accused in the case.

Mai’s legal counsel, Aitzaz Ahsan has said that he will challenge the Supreme Court’s decision through a review petition.

He stated that the judgment is manifestly flawed and is not even based on the evidence available on the record.

The counsel said that the decision of the majority needs to be reviewed and recalled. “I have consulted with Mai, and we have decided that a petition seeking a review of the April 21 judgment will be filed soon,” he said.

Added security for Mukhtaran Mai

The government has promised security and legal assistance to Mai who says her life is under threat after the Supreme Court dismissed her appeal.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the National Assembly on Friday that the federal government will ask Punjab authorities to deploy provincial police for the security of Mai at her remote village in Muzaffargarh district.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Hasan
    Apr 26, 2011 - 9:23PM

    What’s new? Terrorists and criminals always get free by the courts. We need special jails to keep innocent inside for their own protection. It’s too dangerous outside.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:13PM

    So much for the “land of the pure”. Pathetic.Recommend

  • Fahad Raza
    Apr 26, 2011 - 11:24PM

    What’s the matter haven’t you heard people “innocent till proven guilty” ?? Hype the Media and NGO’s wanna create? and how would NGO’s live if they don’t By the way they don’t cover many other Rape cases in which alleged are convicted NO way but Mukhtara mai’s that’s Breaking news. She is getting all kinna awards and degrees just from the bubble Recommend

  • Disappointed
    Apr 27, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Accused or no accused but why on the this earth news paper has to publish the picture of victim. Has she not suffered too much already? Mr. Editor plesae be human, show some sensitivity and remove the picture. Recommend

  • Apr 27, 2011 - 12:43AM

    not bad free the guilty and lynch the innocentRecommend

  • MS- Mariya
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:15AM
  • Balma
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:15AM

    First of all what is with the barely educated media people: Is the word “Mai” really part of
    her name? Or is it similar to the stupidity that every pathan born in Panjab has ‘khan’ as the default last name.

    Secondly, and this is more to the point, I am curious if someone getting gang raped would remember the names of all 14/15 people who raped her. If it wasn’t her, but other bystanders who came up with the names then all those bystanders should have been arrested too, for not stopping the crime.Recommend

  • Karim
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:45AM

    Where is Imran Khan? Does he endorse rape? He speaks against injustice and his party is titled “Insaaf”. And he is silent over the biggest injustice in our contemporary Pakistan.Recommend

  • syra
    Apr 27, 2011 - 5:34AM

    what if they were wrongly accused in reality ??
    so the 10 years they spent in jail, will Mukhtaraan Mayee will pay a compensation for that ??Recommend

  • paindo
    Apr 27, 2011 - 6:58AM

    “desi librals” always remain poise to curse the country, Mai case is another example of it. they don’t want justice for all but only for their school of thought . some innocent people support them without knowing the all necessary details. they support Justice that is a great sentiment. justice should be done with every pakistani but not on the basis of media hype. facts and law should only be taken into consideration. what about the people who were languishing in jail since 11 years?Recommend

  • MAS
    Apr 27, 2011 - 7:07AM

    will american agent media in pakistan will dare to highlight plight of dr afia siddique and US role against muslim countries. seems our media is toeing US lines. our courts are not bound to please mukhtar mai, they decide case according to evidence. now mukhtar mai has many million dollars to live with constable as his second wife. Recommend

  • umar
    Apr 27, 2011 - 9:27AM

    @Fahad
    will any one allow the same to get fame ?Recommend

  • Disgusted
    Apr 27, 2011 - 10:02AM

    To Fahad Raza,
    As my name says i am quite “disgusted” by your comment. So basically according to you since she’s, as you’ve put it, “is getting all kinna awards and degrees just from the bubble” makes it alright that she was gang raped. Or, because of the attention her case has gotten, somehow made the crimes of these men committed less horrible.
    P.S
    Oh and this whole “Innocent till proven guilty” is for places where the justice system actually works. Recommend

  • Egregious
    Apr 27, 2011 - 10:32AM

    shameful for those who still disagree with the decision of supreme court and it has already been decided by high court also. now we should be mature to see the things in their complete sense instead of being relying on media or NGOs propaganda.Recommend

  • Onlooker
    Apr 27, 2011 - 11:00AM

    Indeed this will go down in history as another black day for Pakistan.Recommend

  • S Khan
    Apr 27, 2011 - 12:00PM

    long Live Punjab Police for excellent invitigation all accued go free in this case & terrorisim incidentsRecommend

  • Usman Arshad
    Apr 27, 2011 - 12:19PM

    @Egregious:
    I want to tell you one thing very clearly.Judges of Supreme court are not angels.The evidences were removed a long time ago in this case to protect the Mastois.SC deals only with evidences.
    Evidences were available when the matter was in trial court ,that’s why the accused were punished.After that all evidences were removed.Recommend

  • Truthseekar
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @MS- Mariya:
    I think majority of Pakistani would be agree with me that conversion should not take place.Your link is showing your hypocrisy.You are killing people for just insulting your God and in other country supporting conversion.By the way i just Google on my link posted above ,see and think what your bro doing. Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 27, 2011 - 1:28PM

    @Fahad Raza:
    “innocent till proven guilty!”*******“”guilty till proven innocent”?????Recommend

  • Usman
    Apr 27, 2011 - 3:03PM

    where are Mr .Qadris “followers” now?Recommend

  • MS- Mariya
    Apr 28, 2011 - 1:10AM

    @Truthseekar:

    You have taken hypocrisy to a new level. You have the audacity to come here and point fingers at others when you are commiting crimes left and right. I can fill the whole newspaper with news link from foreign papers reporting christian killing in the name of god in India. I can fill this paper with links showing murder and rape of woman in Goa.Recommend

  • haroon
    Apr 28, 2011 - 5:53PM

    None of you has courage to testify in the court against the rapist.
    If you are writing here, better go in the court and testify there.

    Why are poeple blaming courts?
    For a person to be declared as rapist, there must be evidence so that the court should not destroy the life of a person who did not rape.

    We people are used to make fun of courts but none of us has courage to ever witness a crime in the court even if it had been committed before our sight. How many poeple of us, has ever gone to court to testify against crimes? We can just object others. We forget all the principles when it comes to us to proove ourselves as good citizens.

    Even here in europe, it’s one of the worst crimes but it requires evidence (witnesses and or DNA test). If not proved, then it goes against the person claiming to be raped.

    So courts have done the excellent job but it’s we who don’t have the courage to witness against the rapists. Even one person who got life sentence, he was sentenced because he himself accepted the crime. We should respect court because in this case, court had the option to releive him also by lack of DNA test and by lack of witnesses. But the honorable court opted to go for the severe punishment.

    Had the court punished him the death sentence, again we will cry that the court is filled up with fundamentalists.Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 28, 2011 - 7:22PM

    @haroon:
    Dear Haroon, I think most most of us, with our comments, have demonstrated their gesture of solidarity towards any sort of oppression towards the females of our pakistani society. I think mohtarma Mukhtaran Mai like any other woman deserved the moral support of her country people? Learn as a cultured citizen of pakistan that “human dignity is inviolable”……………..and even if she gets justice from the law or billions of rupees as redemption, we can never return her lost self-respect or get rid her of those cruel memories…………….Ghalib sahib: keya bura tha marna agar baar hota!!!!!!!Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 28, 2011 - 7:25PM

    @goggi: sorry i missed one word from ghalib sahib´s sheyar::
    KEYA BURA THA MARNA AGAR AIK BAAR HOTARecommend

  • citizen
    Apr 30, 2011 - 7:49PM

    @MAS:

    “now mukhtar mai has many million dollars to live with constable as his second wife.”

    What has that got to do with ANYTHING?

    Why do people in this society get so suspicious / resentful / catty towards women who are are bestowed with something good in life. If you, being a man, I presume, married a rich woman as her “second husband”, would that become your identity? Would you expect society to question your marriage and make it sound like you’d done something wrong?

    The fact that she is now married has NOTHING to do with the case at hand.Recommend

  • citizen
    Apr 30, 2011 - 7:53PM

    For all of you who think that Ms. Mukhtara Mai is riding on some greedy, vindictive wave of “MEDIA HYPE,” please consider that this kind of “Media Hype” is not only created in Pakistan.

    Yes, evidence and facts are what should be considered, but in some cases, where the circumstances are so undeniable, and the crime so heinous, the media hype seems to reflect the country’s true feelings.

    In the US, in the OJ Simpson case, and in many other cases around the world, there are times when the media sides completely with the victim. Those incidents are JUST THAT POWERFUL.

    I believe those of you who resent that Ms. Mai has international support, are small-hearted and petty. That her case has won her such international sympathy and praise (for her courage) should help you see the light, rather than question it more.Recommend

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