ISLAMABAD: A local court in Rawalpindi has approved the bail of a man who had allegedly raped a speech-impaired and mentally ill teenage girl two years ago.
The case record, which is available with The Express Tribune, shows that MI* had allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl* who was speech-impaired and mentally ill in a village near Gujar Khan on February 9, 2016.
The girl’s father had told local police that he and his brother had heard his daughter’s screams from a stream near their house. Perturbed that she may have fallen in, they rushed to the spot only to find the suspect raping his daughter.
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Upon seeing the girl’s family, the suspect fled.
The incident was reported to the Gujar Khan police and a rape case registered against the suspect, who is a local.
Though the case was registered the same day, police say the suspect went into hiding. Multiple raids launched to nab him only left police officers clutching at straws.
He was later declared as a proclaimed offender by the court.
The suspect, though, has now struck an out-of-court settlement with the victim’s father and obtained approval for bail-before- arrest from a Gujar Khan additional district and sessions judge.
The victim’s father told the court that local elders had intervened to help reach an out-of-court deal.
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“I have forgiven him [the accused] for the sake of God and do not want to pursue the case any further,” the father maintained in a statement submitted to the court, adding that the case was registered ‘due to a misunderstanding’.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the girl’s father confirmed the settlement with the suspect, clarifying that he had been forced into the deal.
Investigation officer Arif of the Gujar Khan police station said that only a DNA test could confirm whether the assault took place and whether the suspect was indeed the assailant. However, he was quick to point out that the test was not possible now since the accused never made it to police custody since his bail had been confirmed by the court after the complainant’s statement.
* NAME WITHHELD TO PROTECT IDENTITY
Published in The Express Tribune, February 5th, 2018.