The Abbottabad registry of the Peshawar High Court on Monday granted bail against two personal sureties worth Rs100,000 each to three jirga members involved in the Neelor Bala sexual abuse case.
Head of the controversial jirga Muhammad Basheer Abbasi, along with Raqeeb Khan and Matloob, was nominated in FIR No 310 on June 11, after being accused of instigating an incident where a woman was paraded naked through the streets of Neelor Bala village.
The case was registered on the complaint of SHO Saddar Arshad Mehmood and was further validated by the statement of victim, Shaheen* through a statement before the court of Ilaqa magistrate on June 12.
On June 7, the three accused through a unanimous decision of a jirga allegedly instigated and abetted Arsalan, Manzoor, Imran and Shabbir* to disrobe Shaheen as ‘punishment’ after accusing her son Kazim* of allegedly raping Shabbir’s wife Sadia*. The jirga also reportedly declared Sadia*as “haram” and facilitated a divorce in violation of the rights she was entitled under the family law and took away her minor daughter.
The police arrested the three accused whom the court of judicial magistrate sent on judicial remand to Haripur jail. The accused had tried to secure bail from lower courts.
On Monday, a single bench of the PHC headed by Justice Muftaud Din Khan granted bail to the accused against two personal sureties of Rs 100,000 for each of the accused.
The complainant was represented by Advocate Aqib Naveed, while Advocate Qazi Arshad appeared on behalf of the accused.
Meanwhile, local human rights NGOs – the Human Development Organization, Sahara Foundation and Rural Development Project – who have been extending legal aid to the sexual abuse victim announced to move the apex court against the bail of the jirga members. The organisations also demanded security for Shaheen’s family.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.