A nine-year-old girl was gang raped by two of her neighbours on Friday morning.
According to police officials, Shahdra Street No5 resident Mustafa Saleem’s nine-year-old daughter Maryam was raped by two of her neighbours. Mustafa said that he was working when his wife sent word to tell him that their daughter had been abducted. “We asked for a search party and told the police immediately but nothing happened. Even the local mosque made an announcement,” Mustafa said.
Mustafa said that they later discovered that Maryam was playing outside in the courtyard when their neighbour Arsalan and Khaleeq abducted her. The men tied the child up and sexually assaulted her in turns. “We were searching for her all day and the police had registered the case. Everyone was looking for her when that same evening we heard her crying outside the house,” said Maryam’s mother Asiya Bibi.
“We found her lying on the footsteps nearly unconscious,” she said. Asiya and her husband rushed Maryam to the Bahwalpur Victorial Hospital, where doctors said that she was in critical condition. “The child was brutally assaulted and we have sent test samples to the lab to confirm the identities of the rapists,” Dr Ayub Dawar said. Mustafa’s neighbour Raza said that he saw two men take the child on their motorcycle. “I didn’t really think anything of it because I didn’t recognize her at the time,” he said.
Asiyah Bibi filed a report with the Civil Lines Police regarding the rape. Asiyah Bibi said that while she was still conscious her daughter had told her that their neighbours Khalid and Arsalan had taken her on a motorbike to an unrecognized location. “She told me they tied her up and raped her on gunpoint. They gagged her and later threw her outside our house when they heard all the announcements about her,” she said.
Asiyah Bibi said that it took her and her husband several hours to procure an MLC report from the doctors. “We were unable to file a case without the report and we feared that the longer it was delayed the more time the accused would have to escape,” she said. Dr Dawar said that he and his team had successfully operated on Maryam but the girl was still in critical condition. “She has suffered internal injuries and excessive loss of blood. We are trying to do whatever we can but we fear she may not survive,” he said.
Dr Dawar said that Maryam’s blood samples had been sent to the lab for DNA testing. “We understand that the culprits might escape so we have issued an MLC stating that she was definitely gang raped by at least two men. The detailed results will confirm the identities of the accused,” he said. Civil Lines police has registered a case against the accused and are searching for their whereabouts. District Police Officer (DPO) Babar Bakht Qureshi said that police officials had already managed to arrest one of the accused, Arslan, and police were still searching for Khalid.
The names of the victim and her family have been altered to protect her identity.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2011.
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