Local police claim to have arrested an impersonator allegedly involved in raping several young girls while posing as an Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agent.
According to police officials, the accused Ameenabad resident Muhammad Arif had been claiming to be an ISI official. “The man stole cell phones, laptops and other valuables and has been charged with multiple counts of rape,” Civil Lines Police said.
Several police investigation teams who have interrogated the accused said he used to visit departmental stores and take away cash and other articles without meeting any resistance.
He would tell them “I am one of the leading investigators at the ISI and we have traced the phones of some militants who have been trying to contact you so we need to examine the technology,” a police inspector Jamshed Maqbool said.
“He posed as a magistrate, an ISI official and a banker and has swindled millions of rupees. We found he had four separate CNIC cards,” he added.
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The police said that the accused was arrested on the testimony of Rehana Shahid who was also dramatically kidnapped by the accused and remained in his custody for more than seven days. “Arif abducted me and my husband Ata Shahid on April 11. He introduced himself as an ISI official and said that he needed to question us”, she said. The accused asked Shahid to accompany him for interrogation but took him somewhere else. “Meanwhile, he took me to a hotel in Qilla Gujjar Singh and locked me there for 5 days. He raped me several times,” she told police. “He said that my husband was a terrorist and convinced me that he would save me and marry me once we were ‘safe’,” she told police.
“He began taking me with him whenever he was going to a store to get cell phones or other things. I would be tied in the car and he would drive the moment he got back. We were on the run for months,” she said. “I escaped when he was drunk five days ago. I climbed out of the hotel’s bathroom window,” she said. Rehana called one of her uncles, a police constable and told him about what had happened.
Qila Gujjar Singh Police arrived at the scene and arrested the accused. During interrogation the accused admitted to over 40 robbery incidents, posing as an ISI official and using several identities. The accused has been shifted to Faisalabad where he was also wanted in two registered cases in Madina Town and Civil Lines Police Stations. Muhammad Arif confessed to seven counts of rape.
“He admitted to abducting the girls and convincing them it was for their own security.
He raped them and then told them he would marry them all,” Inspector Javed said. Police officials said that after Arif was arrested several women had come forward and filed rape charges against him.
“They feared to do so earlier because he claimed to be working for the ISI,” police said.
Arif confessed to being the accused in a rape case as far back as 2001.
The FIR registered on April 16, 2001 under Section 365-B involved a 24-year-old Christian woman who was abducted and raped for a period of four days in different cities by a person who identified himself as a serving Major in the Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) agency. Sherbano Naz, 24, was abducted on April 14 from her car.
“He was standing with a traffic police official and told me that a call had been received against me and I needed to be taken in for questioning,” she told police. “Then he raped me and warned that if I told anyone the ISI would ensure no one in my family survived,” she added. Her father Khursheed Alam lodged a police report on the same day. Sherbano was found on April 18, 2001 when he dropped her at Faisalabad Railway Station.
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“The police then sent the victim for medical examination in the local DHQ hospital where she was examined by a doctor and subsequently issued a certificate of medical examination which proved that she had been sexually assaulted” police officials said, adding “ but at the time the accused couldn’t be identified. Sherbano has now confirmed it was Arif and several other women have filed charges against him,” he added.
The police claimed that the accused is being interrogated and three police teams are working on verifying the allegations against him.
The names of the victims have been altered to protect their identities
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2011.
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