A married woman was stripped and dragged in the street allegedly to pay for her brother’s actions, the victim told media persons on Monday. She was hospitalised with bruises and other injuries, hospital sources said.
At King Abdullah Hospital, Shirin Bibi*, 39, a resident of Matiyal village of Ghazikot, told media persons that she was home on Friday afternoon when Akbar*, his brother Feroz* and cousins Shahnawaz* and Farooq* barged into her house and started thrashing her. She said they tore apart her clothes and dragged her onto a nearby street where several villagers witnessed her “bitter humiliation”.
Some elderly villagers came to her rescue, urging the attackers from exposing her to public view. Paying no heed to their pleas, the accused punched and kicked her and hit her with rifle butts, leaving her unconscious, she narrated.
She said that the motive behind exposing her to public disgrace was the alleged elopement of her brother Samad* with the sister of one of the accused. She said the attackers wanted to avenge the disrespect that her brother had brought upon them.
Earlier, she lodged a First Information Report (FIR) with the Saddar Police Station. However, the police registered a case under section 354/34 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which states that whoever assaults a woman with intent to outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of up to two years with or without fine. On the other hand, the contents of her complaint indicate that the FIR should have been registered under section of 354-A of the PPC, which states that whoever assaults a woman and strips her, shall be awarded a death penalty or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
District Police Officer Sher Akbar Khan said that the FIR was registered on the details of the complaint the victim lodged with the police. The police have registered a criminal case against five accused who are still at large.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2012.