Khanewal City police on Sunday started investigation of a kidnap-torture-detention-gang rape complaint by the family of a girl against an acquaintance, and his two unidentified accomplices..
SHO Chaudhary Zakaullah said an FIR would be registered against the suspects once the report of the woman’s DNA samples was received after a forensic laboratory examination in Lahore. He said a team had been constituted to arrest the suspects. He said investigation officer Mashkoor Ahmed was in charge of the team.
Earlier, the woman was taken to Khanewal district headquarters (DHQ) hospital for a medical examination on a directive from an area magistrate, Noman Arshad, on Sunday. Complainant Fatima Bibi*, mother of the woman, told The Express Tribune that the family had approached the magistrate after their application for registration of a case against Arshad* and his two accomplices was turned down by the police.
Faraz Ahmed, a landlord on whose farm the woman’s parents are employed, told The Tribune that he had assured the family of his assistance with litigation against the suspects. He said he would ensure that the police pursue the suspects and arrest them as soon as possible.
Talking to The Tribune after she was discharged from the DHQ hospital, Shazia Bibi* said on Saturday she had escaped the house where Arshad and his two accomplices detained her. She said she had been allegedly sexually assaulted and tortured for three days. She said she had found the opportunity to flee as the suspects passed out from drinking after opening her handcuffs to let me use the toilet.
She said she had reached home with assistance from men she found at a market near the house. “I told them that I was fleeing my kidnappers and requested them to help me find my way home,” she said.
She said the suspects had kept her handcuffed for three days. She said she had remained unconscious for most of the time on Thursday and Friday, after she was given an anaesthetic.
She said the suspects had tortured her by burning her skin with cigarettes when she resisted their attempt to sexually assault her.
Earlier, she said on Thursday morning Arshad had met near T-Square in Khanewal on her way home in Bherolwaal village from Railways quarters, where she worked as a domestic servant. She said the suspect had offered to drop her home in his car, and she had accepted the offer as she had known him from his association with her brother.
She said the suspect had stopped the car in front of a house some distance from T-Square and his two accomplices had joined them. She said one of them had grabbed her and held a handkerchief to her face, following which she fainted. On regaining consciousness, she said, she had found herself lying stripped and handcuffed in a room, where she remained confined until her escape on Saturday.
*Names have been changed to protect victim’s identity
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2012.