MULTAN: Five girls were held captive and gang-raped by police at their station in a village on the border between Pakistan and India, officials confirmed on Saturday.
The horrific incident took place at the Fort Munro border military police (BMP) station in the southern Punjab district of Dera Ghazi Khan.
The five girls, all in their teens, reached the Fort Munro hill station from Lahore three days ago for vacation. Asif Abbas, the spouse of one of the victims, was accompanying them.
At the hill station’s entrance, however, BMP personnel stopped them and accused them of being terrorists.
The women were then locked up in a room, where they were allegedly gang-raped by the policemen.
Abbas recalled that he heard the girls crying for help.
“The next morning, they released us and warned that if we informed anyone of the incident, we would be sold or killed,” he claimed.
Abbas approached BMP’s Division Commandant Tariq Ali Basra, who rushed to Fort Munro to investigate the incident. However, local sympathisers of the alleged rapists refused to let Basra investigate the incident.
“I assured them no action would be taken against the accused and returned to Dera Ghazi Khan,” he told The Express Tribune.
Upon his return, Basra suspended the staff of the BMP’s station in Fort Munro.
So far three suspects – Amjad Ali, Ahmed Zafar and Naveed Iqbal – have been arrested, while two others are at large. The victims identified the fourth suspect as Majeed Leghari.
Later in the day, armed tribesmen from the areas got the arrested alleged rapists released. They surrounded the BMP Fort Munro police station and did not allow the police to shift the suspects to Dera Ghazi Khan city. The BPM was in negotiations with the tribesmen for the custody of the alleged rapists, so that they could be presented before the court.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2012.