Teenager sexually assaulted for refusing marriage proposal

Prime suspect in judicial custody; co-accused granted bail

Arsalan Altaf February 28, 2017

ISLAMABAD: A teenaged orphan* was allegedly sexually assaulted by a relative who she had refused to marry. Though the incident took place in May last year, it only came to light after it was reported to the police last month.

The victim, 17, was allegedly intoxicated and raped for three or four days after she refused the marriage proposal from her aunt’s brother.

The victim told the police that last May, she came to stay at her maternal uncle’s house G-12 for a few days and that her aunt’s brother, NM*, had asked her to marry him. After she refused, NM* raped her in the same house for three or four days. She also accused her aunt, SM*, of abetting him, saying that after she refused to marry him, SM facilitated the crime by intoxicating her and locking the door from the outside.

Further, she said NM threatened to kill her younger brother if she told anyone about the assaults. The victim said that her uncle had no idea this was what was being done to her and she returned to her eventually went to her home in another district after a month. The assault left the victim pregnant, but she kept quiet out of until January this year, when she told her relatives.

A few days later, the victim and her relatives lodged a complaint against NM, the prime suspect, as well as SM at the Ramna Police Station. The police arrested both suspects after doctors at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences confirmed that the victim was seven-months pregnant.

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A police officer told The Express Tribune that the suspect had confessed to sexually assaulting the victim several times. He said a DNA test would be conducted after the baby’s birth, and if it matches the suspect’s DNA, the allegations would be confirmed. The prime suspect is currently in Adiala Jail on judicial remand.

SM, who is accused of facilitating the crime, was arrested after her bail-before-arrest application was turned down by a sessions judge. Soon after, she filed a fresh post-arrest bail plea in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Javed Iqbal Sipra, which was accepted on February 27.

In his order on the bail plea, the judge observed that there was an eight-month delay in reporting the incident to the police and that the explanation given by the complainant for the delay was not, in a tentative assessment, satisfactory. The judge also observed that there was no medical evidence on record to confirm that the complainant was intoxicated. The judgment also said that there was no statement of any witness except the complainant on record to back the claim that the aunt locked the door from outside. Under these observations, the court on Monday approved the co-accused’s bail plea against surety bonds of Rs100,000.

Imtiaz Ahmad Somra, counsel for the victim, said that the medical examination reports had proven that the victim was a minor, adding that she also had no identity card for this reason.

A trial will begin once the police complete their investigations and submit their report to the court.