Women stripped for retribution

Published: July 5, 2010
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Individuals involved in crimes like gang rape and child molestation can sometimes slip through the legal system.

Individuals involved in crimes like gang rape and child molestation can sometimes slip through the legal system.

In yet another act of brutal violence against women, a 50-year-old woman was stripped in public and her 12-year-old daughter was beaten in Moza Bair Band, a little village near Sultan city on Sunday, in a bid to settle a family feud. Such incidents of violence on women seem to be on the increase, say observers, who add that the police usually side with the culprits as seems to be the case in this incident.

So far the police had been unhelpful to the victims. What is worse is that only two members of the gang that assaulted the women have been apprehended till now, because police have allegedly succumbed to political pressure.

The incident occurred early on Sunday morning, when a group of 14 men led by locals Safdar and Mirza approached Allah Wasai and her young daughter Ashraf Mai as they were working in their fields, witnesses said.

They were seeking to take revenge on Allah Wasai’s family because her son, Saddam, allegedly had illicit relations with Safdar’s young daughter, Fatima.

Safdar and Mirza and their accomplices captured the mother and the daughter at around 9 am and stripped the mother naked, beating both relentlessly.

During the fray, Allah Wasai’s daughter managed to escape and ran away from the scene, begging passersby to help her mother who, she said, was being beaten to death.

According to locals, Allah Wasai was beaten continuously for three hours in front of a large group of onlookers who did nothing to help the woman.  “This is torture,” said a local resident, visibly shaken. “About 100 people were gathered around, watching as the woman was stripped and beaten. I came forward and said, ‘Give her some clothes, for God’s sake’.”

When the police were finally summoned to the scene they took Allah Wasai and her daughter to the local police station and then dropped them off to the hospital, said Altaf, the officer in charge of the investigation.  A medical examination has not yet been conducted.

When asked whether the police had ensured that the women were given a proper medical examination, he retorted that it was not the police officer’s job to guarantee that a check up had taken place. Altaf refused to answer further questions.

Locals said they do not have any faith in the police or in the doctor who took Allah Wasai into his care, as they alleged that both the police and the doctor had been bribed by local influential people.

The police at Sultan police station have registered a case under section 354 of the penal code, but the victims maintain that the police have not registered the case under clauses that correspond to the crimes the gang committed.

Ghulam Mustafa, Allah Wasai’s husband, appealed to the authorities to take action on his wife’s case.

“No action has been taken against my wife’s attackers. There is a lot of political pressure on the people here,” he said. Near tears, Mustafa added that he had spent a lot of time at the hospital in Sultan city and at the police station, but could not get the police to mobilise their forces in any effective manner. “The people involved are land owners,” Mustafa said. “They have a lot of political backing. We are poor people, we can’t do anything.”

After the assault began receiving more attention in the public the police did manage to apprehend two suspects Akbar and Jamil. The rest of the attackers, included the alleged instigators Safdar and Mirza, are still at large.

This incident comes just a week after a report by the Aurat Foundation on violence against women was released, which stated that crimes against women had increased by 13 per cent in 2009. The most crimes against women were reported to have taken place in the Punjab, said the report.

Umme-Laila Azhar of the Aurat Foundation condemned the incident and confirmed that violent incidents of a similar nature seemed to be increasing rather than decreasing.

She linked crimes against women to several factors including poverty. According to Azhar, the general population is growing increasingly frustrated at their worsening economic condition and men are taken their anger out on women, who are treated as commodities.

She also blamed lax media regulation policies for the upward trend in crime. “The media widens the distance between the haves and the have-nots,” she said. She said no policies had been implemented to make the media more sensitive so as not to create resentment between different segments of society.

Commenting on the frequent use of women as tools to gain retribution, she said: “This is a feudal mindset.” She said education could help end this practice, and conceded that in the interim, ‘influential’ people will still have the power to influence the police and other authorities.

Meanwhile the victim’s family, who have appealed to the Chief Minister of Punjab to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice, wants speedy action on the case.

“I appeal to you, I appeal to everyone…” said Mustafa. “How can anybody allow such atrocities to take place?”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • humayunm
    Jul 5, 2010 - 3:20AM

    man..this is truly sickening.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 5, 2010 - 8:48AM

    First of all these so called gang or bunch of losers cannot even control their own daughter and instead begin to take revenge. It is a shame that out of 100 people no one stood up for the poor lady and just watched this gang strip her. The only way to end this atrocity from happening again is to hang everyone who did this, but why would our government do that when they themselves are so corrupt. May Allah give these people hadayat , Ameen.Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Jul 5, 2010 - 9:06AM

    “Islami Jamhooria Pakistan” .. shame on us. 62 years and we are still living like animalsRecommend

  • Atiq Rehman
    Jul 5, 2010 - 9:24AM

    May animals that strip women in public be stripped of their skin and thrown in a pool of salt. May animals that beat and rape women be judged soon. AmenRecommend

  • Abid Ali Abi
    Jul 5, 2010 - 10:33AM

    I also strongly condemn this event.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2010 - 1:43PM

    The culprits should be stripped and beaten to death! Such a shame that the government and even several people in the country are more concerned about banning websites and other trivial matters under the name of Islam, when they cannot even guarantee the safety and basic human rights of the people living here. Pakistan has no right to call itself an ‘Islamic’ Republic. Recommend

  • HIra Shah
    Jul 5, 2010 - 4:28PM

    When will all of this end? When will our people realize that they have to stand up when they see some injustice being committedRecommend

  • Sharjeel Jawaid
    Jul 5, 2010 - 4:58PM

    This version or local justice [read revenge] is in practice for many years.

    Will the law enforcers and the judiciary come out with the number of persons responsible for such dastardly act, actually punished?Recommend

  • mussarat ahmedzeb swat
    Jul 5, 2010 - 7:59PM

    where are the human right activist? beating a woman and humiliating her in front of an audience is a small crime or are they waiting for another flogging incident which is a bigger crimeRecommend

  • Aamna
    Jul 5, 2010 - 10:14PM

    its not only the rapists here that are worse than animals. i’m stunned at the HUNDRED people STANDING AND WATCHING!! for THREE hours. i cannot imagine how hell can be worse.Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 5, 2010 - 10:37PM

    Am I proud to be a Pakistani when all this is happening in Pakistan and that too during the tenure of PPP government?

    The killers should return Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto (Shaheed) back to these poor women to protect their honour and dignity.

    Chief Justice of Pakistan should take suo moto action and ask the Police to apprehend the culprits without any further delay.

    Severe punishment should be awarded to these culprits who cannot distinguish between their mother and Allah Wasai.Recommend

  • Nina
    Jul 5, 2010 - 10:57PM

    The 100 or so people who stood by watching are just as much to blame as the culprits! Not a moral bone left in anyone’s body these days and we call ourselves Muslims!Recommend

  • Ghausia
    Jul 5, 2010 - 11:04PM

    This country is going to the dogs. The worst part is, its not even like the attackers took revenge for a rape or something, their daughter was having relations with Allah Wasai’s son, meaning she was doing whatever she did of her own free will. If they can’t raise good, decent daughters, then maybe they should be stripped and beaten,and not innocent elderly women and children.Recommend

  • Faria
    Jul 5, 2010 - 11:40PM

    This is the story that I read last month and the month before that and the year before that. Maybe the place was different, perhaps the woman was 45 instead of 50. But the story was the same. I do not want to be part of this species.Recommend

  • Faseeha Arjumand
    Jul 6, 2010 - 12:14AM

    Shame on 180 million of Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s citizens.Recommend

  • Ali Haider
    Jul 7, 2010 - 7:29AM

    The SHO of the relevant police station should be stripped naked in front of the same public and beaten for 3 hours.

    Unless we do this, our police is not going to get back on line.

    Anyone???Recommend

  • Pulsar
    Jul 7, 2010 - 9:55AM

    @Ali Haider
    I second thatRecommend

  • Jul 7, 2010 - 12:33PM

    Are we still living in the ‘daur-e-jahiliyya’ ?Recommend

  • Asif Khan
    Jul 7, 2010 - 1:59PM

    First in my view we need to see authentication of this event happened as someone said he/she heard the same event month back with different name. This is another challenge to us for news authentication.

    Second we need to take out our police out of Politian domination and influence. That dosen’t means that our police is innocent but than could bring some reforms in our police department.

    Third I agree with Ali Haider the same has to do with police head and the person who had beaten the woman in return of justice to them, if the news is correct and genuine.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Jul 7, 2010 - 2:41PM

    Indeed a very sad event. This clearly highlights the growing trends of violence in our society. Women are equal to men and this can also be proven through Quranic teachings. Violence against women should not go unchecked.Recommend

  • Shahbaz
    Jul 7, 2010 - 11:18PM

    Disgusting. Beat the perpetrators black and blue I say! An eye for an eye.Recommend

  • Armaan
    Jul 27, 2010 - 7:30PM

    No words, this is disgusting..
    i strongly condemn this shmeful act
    In my point of view the real story begins after the incident.
    if only the the institutions and there people i.e POLICE and HOSPITAL do their job honestly the victims will feel relieved a bit..
    but unfortunately the doctors the medical staff the policeman all are equally involved in this heinous crime of act.
    MAY ALLAH BLESS OUR COUNTRY .. ameenRecommend

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