Couple retracts statement in harassment case

Victim girl says she does not want to pursue case against accused


Saqib Bashir January 11, 2022
Police had arrested Mirza in Islamabad after a harrowing video of him torturing and stripping a couple went viral online in July last year. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD:

In a new development, the victims in the couple harassment case on Tuesday retracted their statement against the accused including the main suspect Usman Mirza.

The couple in their written affidavit told the trial court that they did not want to pursue the case against the main accused Usman Mirza and co-accused Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Rehan, Umar Bilal Marwat, Mohib Bangash and Farhan Shaheen.

The accused had been booked and charge-sheeted after they were arrested for stripping the couple naked, torturing them in Sector E-11 of Islamabad and later uploading their video on social media in July last year.

When Additional District and Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani took up the case for hearing, Usman Mirza and the other accused were produced before the court.

During the hearing the victims, Sundas and Asad Raza, also appeared but refused to identify the main accused Usman Mirza and other accused.

They said that the whole case was prepared by the police and they submitted the affidavit to the court on their behalf.

The affidavit was filed by the victim girl in the court stating that the accused named and arrested in the case were not those who were seen in the video or were present at the time of the incident. According to the affidavit, none of the arrested suspects sexually assaulted them, or forcibly made any video or stripped them naked.

The victim girl also refused to identify the accused, saying she did not name the accused in her statement to the police or any magistrate. The girl also told the court that she did not want to pursue the case against the arrested accused.

While during the cross-examination in the court, the girl also said that "police have fabricated the whole matter" and she did not sign any stamp paper. "I did not identify any of the accused nor did I sign any papers.” She said that at different times, the policemen took signatures or thumbprints from her.

The girl also said “I did not identify any of the accused and nor did I sign any paper" but the police officers at different times kept signing simple papers from them and put their thumbprints. The victim also refused to identify Rehan, who was arrested on charges of making mobile footage, saying, "I don't know Rehan and the police showed me Rehan and other accused at the police station."

She said that she was submitting this affidavit of her own free will and free of any pressure.

She also told the court that she did not want to appear for subsequent hearings in the case. At this, the judge told her that she would have to appear and adjourned the hearing for January 18.

Public Prosecutor Hassan Abbas cross-examined the statement of the victims. Malik Akhlaq Awan and others appeared on behalf of the accused.

Usman Mirza, Mohib Bangash, Idrees Qayyum Butt, Farhan Shaheen and Attaur Rehman were indicted in this case in September 2021.

The first lawyer of the victims, Hassan Javed Shorash, while talking to the media said that he did not know anything about what the boy and girl said in the court on Tuesday.

He said that the boy and the girl were in touch with him till Tuesday. “I also met with the boy and the girl two days ago to discuss the recording of their statement. He said he had a phone conversation with the victim on Monday. He said that he kept trying to contact the affected girl and boy on Tuesday morning but they did not pick up his call. “At Tuesday, I found out that the boy and the girl had changed their lawyer,” he said.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2022.

 

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