According to police officials the victim whose alleged gang rape invited a suo motu notice by Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) Supreme Appellate Court (SAC), on Saturday denied that the incident ever happened.
“She recorded her statement with the police saying that she hadn’t been raped, let alone gang-raped,” a senior police official told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
He went a step ahead to state that the woman, who was in protective custody, did not appear to be “of sound mind”.
The police official further claimed that the woman was not under pressure to change her statement. He said her previous statement might have been politically motivated, adding that they would present the report to the SAC in compliance with the court’s orders.
The G-B SAC took suo motu action on Friday after regional newspapers ran the story of the gang rape of a woman from the remote village of Rondu, Skardu. According to media reports, the woman was subjected to rape for a period of five days by a gang of ‘influential persons’ a couple of weeks ago in Skardu.
The SAC had ordered the Inspector General Police to submit a detailed report to the court on Monday.
The official said that several villagers continued to gather outside the police station, condemning the “shameful act”.
He said the police have tried to convince the locals to return home since the matter is pending before the region’s superior court.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.