Six men accused in a gang rape case were granted interim pre-arrest bail by a sessions court in Jhang on Thursday.
Ajmal, Adalat, Faiz, Sadawar, Akram and Munir are among the 12 people accused by a 13-year-old girl of sexually assaulting her at gunpoint.
The girl was recovered from a shelter home in Jhang by her father, Altaf Hussain, on August 3. She told her father that she had been sexually assaulted by 12 men who had ‘bought’ her from her former employer. She said she had sought refuge at the shelter home after fleeing from the place where the men had kept her. Cases have been registered with the Saddar police under Sections 376/1 and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code against nine nominated, three unidentified men and the girl’s former employer Shazia, a Shekhana village resident.
Invetsigation officer Malik Zahoor said medical examination at Civil Hospital had confirmed rape. He said a comprehensive report, including description of torture, would be available in a couple of days. He said the police was conducting raids to arrest Shazia and other men accused of rape. The officer said police would soon summon for interrogation the six men who had secured interim bails. He hoped that information obtained from them would be helpful in tracing the woman and other accused.
Girl’s father, Hussain, said that instead of keeping his daughter as a domestic helper, Shazia ‘sold’ the child to the accused on July 25. Hussain said he had decided to let Shazia keep his daughter as a domestic helper because he was poor and could not afford to feed her family. “I am a daily-wage labourer. I can barely afford to feed my family. There are days when my children go without food. I thought my daughter would be better off at Shazia’s place,” he said.
He said he had gone to meet his daughter on August 1 but found Shazia’s house locked. He said he had traced the child after asking around in the area. “Darul Aman administration handed her back to me after I moved an application in that regard with a sessions court in Jhang,” he said.
Names have been changed/not mentioned to protect identity of the victim
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2011.