An alleged gang-rape victim from a village near Skardu told the Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court (SAC) on Monday that she wasn’t subjected to rape, court sources said.
Taking suo motu action last week after publication of news reports about the rape of a woman from the remote village of Rondu by a ‘gang of influential people’, the region’s apex court asked the IGP to submit a detailed report on Monday.
However, during proceedings held at the SAC today, the woman told the court that she had not been raped. The woman, who was accompanied by her brother and several relatives, said that a political rivalry could have led to publishing of the news reports, which had nothing to do with her.
Justice Mohammad Nawaz Abbasi was infuriated upon hearing this statement and took strong exception to the publication of a fake story by a local newspaper. “The publication of fake news (reports) in the paper is tantamount to disrespecting the woman,” the court adjudged, adding that the paper must compensate the victim for defaming her or face court action.
The court ordered those present in the room to leave for sometime so that judges could talk to the victims in privacy. Later orders were compiled and the hearing was adjourned.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.