State to pursue prosecution in Usman Mirza case, says parliamentary secy for law

Anyone harassing and stripping woman must face full force of the law, says PTI MNA


Our Correspondent January 12, 2022
PHOTO: Maleeka Bokhari/Twitter

ISLAMABAD:

Ruling PTI lawmaker and Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Bokhari on Wednesday said that the state would now pursue prosecution in the Usman Mirza case 'irrespective of recent developments' relating to the victim's testimony.

"Irrefutable video & forensic evidence on record- anyone harassing & stripping a woman must face the full force of the law," said the lawmaker.

Bokhari said that a high-level meeting, chaired by Law Minister Barrister Forough Naseem, was held at the Ministry of Law and Justice on the special directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan

.“PM Imran Khan has directed the state to pursue cases of abuse and harassment of women,” she added. “The state stands with all the affected women and children.”

She stressed that the perpetrators of woman and child abuse would not escape the law.

The meeting was also attended by, inspectors general (IG) Islamabad Police, DIG Operations, SSP investigations and prosecutors.

“We have solid evidence in this case,” Bokhari added. “It is the responsibility of the government and the police to bring this case to a logical conclusion. We will do our best to bring full justice to the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

“At the next hearing, all the evidence will be presented in court,” the barrister said. “The victims will be provided full security.”

In a surprising turn of events on Tuesday, the victims in the couple harassment case 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.

Read More: Usman Mirza, Shahrukh Jatoi cases challenge for justice system: Fawad

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 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.

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