Six men have been sentenced to death by a sessions court in Chiniot in a seven-year-old gang rape case.
The verdict announced by Judge Ziaul Qamar on Saturday declared seven of the 10 men arrested in the case by Saddar police guilty. Anwar, Akbar, Muhammad Ali, Sajid, Tanveer and Liaqat were handed death sentences and Nadeem, 15-year-old at the time, life imprisonment.
Three others were given benefit of the doubt and acquitted. The names of Sarwar, Mumtaz and Nawaz had not been mentioned in the FIR registered by Razia*’s father Riaz* on May 31, 2005, at Saddar police station.
Saddar police said the names were included at a later stage on the complainant’s request.
Witnesses who testified on Saturday said relatives of the men had assaulted and injured others and scared them out of testifying against the offenders.
According to the prosecution, the suspects had kidnapped Razia* and sexually assaulted her to avenge the alleged kidnapping of Anwar’s daughter by one of Riaz*’s friends, Mumtaz.
It said Anwar, a resident of Chak 14, had suspected Riaz* of abetting Mumtaz in kidnapping the former’s daughter, Shabana.
The FIR said Anwar and his accomplices had abducted Razia* from Riaz*’s house in Chak 10 near Lahore Road on the May 30 night.
It said some 10 men had broken into the house and held the family at gunpoint. They allegedly shot and injured Riaz* and his brother.
Razia* was recovered in a police raid several days later. Anwar and some of his accomplices were also arrested in the raid.
A medical examination carried out at the Chiniot tehsil headquarters (THQ) hospital had confirmed sexual assault.
In another incident in a Gujranwala village, a man was caught kidnapping an eight-year-old girl. One of the girl’s sisters had been kidnapped and kiled in the past, her father said. No one had yet been arrested in that case.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the victim
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2012.