In yet another harrowing incident of sexual assault, a student of a private Cadet college in Murree was allegedly gang-raped at gunpoint by four students in the hostel.
Police arrested two suspected rapists after a raid that saw commotion as the staff and students of the college started pelting stones at the police in protest and detained personnel of the raiding team.
Sources said that the seventh-class student was allegedly gang-raped at the hostel of the Cadet College Company Bagh in Murree.
Police registered a case against four accused after the victim’s father filed a complaint over the incident.
According to the Murree police report, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the 12-year-old’s father, a resident of Lahore, told the police that his son had been boarding at the college hostel.
“On October 16, when I spoke with my son over the phone, he began crying,” the father told the police in his complaint.
The father said that despite several attempts his son would not share what had happened. Later, he said, he brought him home and his son appeared extremely scared and fearful.
“After some time when he came to his senses, he revealed in front of other witnesses that on the evening of October 10, while he was sleeping in the hostel room Hassan Afridi, Shahnawaz, Taimoor and Saud entered his room with a gun,” the father told the police while quoting his son.
According to the father, the accused, Saud, holding brandishing a gun woke up his son while Taimoor put his hand on the victim’s throat and choked him. The other two allegedly raped the 12-year-old in the meantime.
The accused also reportedly threatened the victim that he “would be killed if he shared anyone.
The father also alleged that when the victim reported the incident to the principal, he shouted at him and silenced him while threatening him that he would be “kicked out of the college if he made any mention” of the matter to someone else.
Meanwhile, when the police team reached the college to inquire about the incident, the administration staff and students locked the police team in the room and started pelting stones at the police van and resorted to aerial firing. The glass of the police mobile van was broken by stone-pelting protesters.
Meanwhile, the principal and SP Kohsar Faisal Saleem reached the spot to control the situation. Elite force and other personnel were also called from Rawalpindi to get the detained policemen freed.
A separate case was also registered against the nine nominated persons and students, including the admin officer of the college for resisting the police and inciting students to violence.
Assistant Sub-inspector Inayat Ali said that after they reached the college, Vice Principal Habib-ur-Rehman took them to his office and the accused Saud Afridi was called into the room for investigation, other students and the administrative staff and the admin officer started shouting slogans. “The college administration incited other students who started pelting stones at us”.
“When we took refuge inside the office to avoid stone pelting, the accused locked us in the room and also resorted to aerial firing,” he said adding that the screen and glass of the police mobile van broke and the vehicle also got damaged as a result of stone pelting.
“The agitated people interfered in the government work, resisted and kept us hostage,” he said adding that a case has been registered against them for damaging the police vehicle.
On the other hand, police said that the two accused Hasan Afridi and Saud Afridi have been arrested and raids were under way to arrest the other two accused.
On the other hand, Cadet College Principal Hafiz Aftab Ahmed denied that the student had been gang-raped. He claimed that it was not possible for a student to be sexually assaulted in the presence of staff and students. “The matter was misrepresented that has no relation to the facts,” he said.
He said that, in an incident, an FIR was registered against four students of the college. He said that the plaintiff Muhammad Imran's son is studying in class 7th, who left for home from college on October 16 with his mother.
He, however, said that the mother of the student told him that her son was worried about the behaviour of some boys in the hostel and he wanted to go home.
He said that the student was allowed to go with his mother so that he could get a break. He said that after that the student left the college happily for home with his mother.
The college principal said that later, he came to know about the FIR.
The principal further said that there were four houses and four hostels in the college, where more than 12 children live in each room. Lights are kept turned on even at night, he said adding that close-circuit cameras were installed for surveillance in the corridors.
He said that about four to six personnel remain present throughout the night to monitor the children. In such a situation, he said, it is not possible that a child was sexually assaulted by three or four people together. The facts have been distorted in the FIR, he claimed.
He said that the accused students who were present in college have been handed over to the police while the other two children have gone to their homes and they will be asked to present themselves for an investigation. “We will fully cooperate with the police,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2022.
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