A local priest has been arrested for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl and forcing her to have an abortion.
According to police officials, Muneerabad resident Ameena Bibi approached police officials on Tuesday and told them that priest Haroon Masih had raped her 14-year-old daughter Leena for over four months and had forced her to have an abortion. “I thought my daughter was helping him teach children at Sunday school every week after school. She used to say she needed to stay behind late and we didn’t think twice of it,” Ameena Bibi told police.
Leena said that Haroon had raped her several months ago, after church on Sunday. “I helped at the small school at the back of the church and one of his helpers Rashid called me and said he needed to see me,” she told police. Leena said that Haroon offered her a drink laced with drugs and locked her in a small room where he raped her. “He did it nearly every week and he told me that if I told anyone he would have me killed,” she told police officials.
Ameena Bibi said that two weeks ago her daughter had told the priest that she was pregnant. “I didn’t know what to do and he said he would help me. He drugged me and blindfolded me. When I awoke I was still blindfolded but a doctor was performing the abortion,” Leena said. She told police officials that she developed a severe infection after the procedure and nearly died. “A doctor at the DHQ hospital told me that my daughter had recently had an abortion and that she had suffered terrible internal bleeding and needed surgery,” Ammena Bibi said. “I had no idea about what had happened until Leena broke down and told us what had happened,” she added.
“I treated the girl after her abortion. She was suffering from terrible internal bleeding and she could easily have died. We have performed surgery and she is stable now,” said Allied Hospital Obstetrician Dr Fauzia Virk.
Muneerabad police SHO Muhammad Sultan said that police officials had arrested Haroon Masih, Basheer and Rashid after registering a case 376TP.
“We have taken the men into custody and have launched an investigation. Haroon has not spoken a word about the matter but Rashid confessed that he and Basheer helped Haroon. He said that he used to guard the doors to ensure they weren’t caught and that he had drugged Leena,” Sultan said.
Police officials said that they were currently searching for lady doctor Shameem, who had performed the abortion. “Her clinic is empty and we have sealed it off but she has fled the area,” Sultan said.
All names have been changed to protect the identity of the victim
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2011.
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