BAHAWALPUR / DERA GHAZI KHAN: A man and his daughter on Sunday attempted self-immolation in front of the DPO‘s office during a protest against a refusal by police to arrest two men the girl said had raped her.
However, police claimed that the girl had married the suspect.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Abdul Rasheed, a resident of Javed Colony, said that Shahid, a relative, and his cousin Nadeem had kidnapped his 15-year-old daughter from their house on February 18 in his absence.
He said he had reported the kidnapping to the Civil Line Police Station.
Speaking to The Tribune, his daughter said that Shahid and Nadeem had used some anesthetic to kidnap her from her home.
“They took me to Melsi and raped me for 15 days,” she said. “I was finally able to escape and return home.”
Rasheed said that he had registered a FIR but police had refused to arrest the suspects. “They told us the men appeared to be innocent,” he said.
He said that police had not announced for a medical examination of the girl and that SHO Tasadduq Hussain had received a bribe.
On Sunday, the girls relative blocked the road and burnt tires. They demanded that the suspects be arrest and DNA samples be sent for forensic examination. Rasheed also tried to set fire to himself and his daughter but was stopped. Acting DPO Gohar Mushtaq Bhutta called them into his office and assured them that he will take notice of the matter and referred the case to a standing board. SHO Tasadduq Hussain denied any favouritism. He said that police had registered the kidnapping case and then added the rape charge after the medical examination. He said he was later transferred from the police station. He said that his successor SHO Irshad Ahmed Bukhari had closed the case declaring the two suspects innocent.
The family warned that they will burn themselves in front of the RPO’s office if the suspects were not arrested.
Speaking to The Tribune, SHO Irshad said that police had discovered that the girl had married the suspect around 3 months ago. “The marriage was arranged by her mother but the father was not told,” he said. He said that police had declared the suspects innocent after being presented a nikkah nama.
‘Suspect is not innocent’
A judge in Sakhi Sarwar on Saturday rejected the bail application of a man held for gang-rape and using a video of the episode to blackmail the woman.
Magistrate Zulfiqar Bari sent the accused Arif to jail and rejected the investigation report submitted by Border Military police declaring him innocent. When police presented the suspect before the court, Investigation Officer Azmat Sher Khan submitted a report recommending the suspect’s release.
However, the magistrate rejected the investigation report after the victim submitted a video and photographs of the incident, she said had been circulated by the rapists after failing to blackmail her into slavery.
He also rejected the bail application and directed police to submit a complete investigation report on May 14.
In her application to the police, the 19-year-old woman had said that she had been gang raped by Arif, Rasheed, Amjad, Safdar and their two accomplices. She said that the incident was filmed.
She accused husband’s parents of having administered her a tranquilizer and let the men take her.
She said two weeks after the incident one of the accused tried to blackmail her into physical relations with him.
She said that the video was circulated after she refused.
She said that her husband Mohammad Yousaf divorced her seeing the video.
She filed a complaint on April 14. On April 28, police arrested Arif and Shahbaz.
IO Azmat Sher Khan said, “Shahbaz was caught in the act. Arif was present in the video but not in the act.” he said.
Border Military Police Senior Commandant Mohammad Shahid promised an impartial investigation.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2012.
More in PunjabTwo escape forced labour, find shelter