A teenager, who eloped with the boy of her dreams, ended up a rape victim after he abandoned her. Sophia* accused Mansehra police of rape and torture while keeping her in illegal detention for five days.
“Nine policemen raped and tortured me for five days,” said Sophia, 17, on Thursday. Originally from Haripur, her family settled in a Mohajir camp in Karachi. “My father is bedridden and my brother is a daily wage worker.”
There she fell in love with Aquil* on occasional visits to the market. She eloped with him after he promised to marry her. The two came to Mansehra, where they stayed in a hotel room for three days.
“On the third day he asked me to accompany him for a walk. When we came to the bazaar, he disappeared, abandoning me,” said Sophia, adding, “The policemen there took me to the City Police Station.”
There, according to Sophia, a policeman with a beard beat her “savagely” with a bamboo stick. A lady constable then took over and continued to beat her. “In the night she asked me to submit to the police officials if I wanted to be spared from the torture.”
Sophia accused three policemen of raping her for three days. She was then taken to Kaghan Police Station where other officials raped her for two days, Sophia alleged.
On August 5, she was produced before a doctor. The lady constable accompanying her told the doctor the girl was not willing to undergo a medical examination and she was exempted. A magistrate sent her to Darul Amaan on the police’s request.
Responding to a question, Sophia said, “I was not allowed to speak before the judge or the doctor.”
City Police SHO Khurshid Khan Tanoli was not available for comments despite repeated calls. However, another policeman, who introduced himself as Waqar, said that Sophia came to the police station on the evening of August 5 and was sent to Darul Amaan the next morning.
Headquarters Deputy Superintendent of Police Malik Ejaz Khan Gog said he would investigate the case and punish the policemen if they are found guilty.
“If the complaint proves to be genuine after a medical examination we will definitely register an FIR against the accused police officials,” he said.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2012.