Four men named in a gang-rape case were arrested on Monday after the family of the 13-year-old victim blocked the National Highway to protest against the police for failing to arrest them.
Rusksana* was raped and paraded in streets on Saturday allegedly by two sons of a local landlord, their friend and an uncle.
SHO Aslam Ghumman said that the families stopped the agitation only after they were assured that the accused will not be released until the investigation of the case was complete. However, he said that nothing had been established so far. Vehari DPO Nasir Ali Rizvi told The Express Tribune that a detailed inquiry will be required before the matter was taken to the court.
Victims’ brother, Ahsan, has appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take a suo motto notice of the case.
According to the complaint filed with the police, Rukhsana was kidnapped from Chak 88 on her way home from the canal where she had gone to wash clothes with her mother. She said she was gang-raped by Javed and Irfan, sons of an influential landlord; their uncle Ijaz; and their friend Imran. She was then paraded naked in the streets.
Rukhsana told police that she had tried to escape, but her kidnappers had pursued and caught her.
“They tore my clothes and tried to drag me back into the house,” she said. She said two women, mother and sister-in-law of the accused, had also joined the men and beaten her with iron rods.
“Some people came to my help and somebody called my mother, but they wouldn’t stop,” she said.
Surayya, the victim’s mother, said she was called by a neighbour. She said she thought her daughter had gone back to the canal.
“I rushed to the scene and begged them to let her go. I covered her with my shawl but they tore it away too. Some people in the neighbourhood then helped me bring her home.”
Police said that Ahsan had had a scuffle with Javed and Irfan a few days ago. They said the two bothers had threatened him of dire consequences. Some neighbours had had to intervene.
The police were reluctant to take any step against the accused, he said.
On Monday, the residents of the area and relatives of the victim gathered on the National Highway to protest against the police.
The accused have denied the charges and claimed that Ahsan had entered their house and tried to rape their sister. They said he had accused them to cover up the matter.
*Names have been changed to protect the victim’s identity
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2011.