Fort Munro gang rape: Three border police officials surrender

Published: June 11, 2012
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Fort Munro is the only hill station in southern Punjab in the Sulaiman Mountains Range. Its altitude is 1800 meters and attracts many people for short stays during the summer. PHOTO: tdcp.gop.pk

Fort Munro is the only hill station in southern Punjab in the Sulaiman Mountains Range. Its altitude is 1800 meters and attracts many people for short stays during the summer. PHOTO: tdcp.gop.pk

DERA GHAZI KHAN: Three Border Military Police (BMP) officials, accused of raping five girls at the Fort Munro hill station, have surrendered themselves for transparent investigations, Adviser to the Punjab Chief Minister Begum Zakia Shahnawaz announced on Sunday.

The three personnel had escaped a day earlier from the Fort Munro police station following an attack by hundreds of sympathisers from their tribe. Two other officials accused of involvement in the assault case are still at large. Shahnawaz told reporters in Dera Ghazi Khan that the three men were taken into custody after a jirga meeting was held to decide the matter.

Earlier, BMP Commandant Tariq Basra told The Express Tribune that tribal leaders had assured that they would hand over the three men within the next 24 hours.

The jirga — attended by more than 50 tribal elders from the area — proclaimed the innocence of the accused men.

The rape victims told an investigation on Sunday that they could identify all five personnel accused of the crime, including the two men who have escaped. They also revealed that the BMP officials had filmed the gang rape and had threatened to make the footage public if the girls dared to disclose the sequence of events.

Amjad Ali, one of the accused on the run, told The Express Tribune from an undisclosed location that all five women were “call girls,” who were accompanied by their procurer. He said they had been called from Lahore and had misbehaved with the personnel when they were stopped at the checkpost, and threatened them. Ali added that the medical reports would reveal that they had in fact not been raped.

DCO Iftikhar Ali Saho told The Express Tribune that negotiations with tribal leaders were successful and they had demanded an inquiry on merit about the incident. He said that the victims have been moved to Dera Ghazi Khan Circuit House in strict security to ensure their safety.

The DCO said, however, that details about the victims remain vague. He said that the victims were not revealing their real identities and that the statements provided by them were contradictory. He appealed through the media for their relatives to contact the administration and make the investigation transparent.

The inquiry team, ordered by the Punjab chief minister, arrived in Dera Ghazi Khan on Sunday. The team includes the Additional IG of the Punjab Police Nasir Durrani, Punjab Home Secretary Shahid Khan. They have been given a briefing by intelligence officials, the district administration, and BMP officials. A report will be submitted today (Monday) to the chief minister.

NA panel

A National Assembly panel on human rights summoned BMP commandant Basra on Sunday. The NA standing committee on human rights also summoned the concerned district police officer and district coordination officers in the case.

“I have summoned the BMP commandant, DCO and DPO DG Khan on June 21,” said panel head Riaz Fatyana. “We condemned and took serious notice of the news of the gang-rape of female tourists in Fort Munro,” Fatyana told The Express Tribune.

The committee has sought a detailed report on the incident. It has also directed Basra to submit three-year criminal records of the BMP, if any. The panel has also ordered the commandant to ensure the safety of tourists in the area, to arrest those involved in the incident within three days and to present them before the committee on June 21.

President Asif Ali Zardari has also directed the authorities concerned to submit a detailed report on the incident, saying strict action would be taken against those involved. He also directed them to ensure the safety of the victims.

WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM ZAHID GISHKORI IN ISLAMABAD

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Ayesha Malik
    Jun 11, 2012 - 6:22AM

    Need to hang these people

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:18AM

    Ayesha please, let the investigators find the truth first.

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  • Imran
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:30AM

    The accusations seem fishy. First of all medical report should be produced which would clarify what happened in reality.

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  • Farhan
    Jun 11, 2012 - 8:57AM

    Victims are not revealing their identity for obvious reasons – there should not be any reason to blame them. If Amjad Ali is calling them ‘call girls’ and saying that they were not raped, why is he on the run? Sadly, I feel like this is one of the many incidents that have been reported. Way too many might be going unreported because of the threat to the victim’s life.Make an example out of these cops – punish them, for once!

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  • Babar
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:13AM

    Something is not right in this case, I think security personal should be considered innocent unless proven guilty.

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  • Truth_Prevails
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:23AM

    Need to be transparent and should investigate without emotions. Rape is a henious crime and wrongly accusing someone of it is the mother of ‘henious crime’. Truth has to prevail.

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  • Noman Vardag
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:37AM

    I strongly condemn and denounce the attitude and statement of the insensitive and cynic DCO Dera Ghazi Khan, Iftikhar Ali Saho, who is giving negative opinions against the weak and helpless female victims instead of condemning and taking action against the uniformed accused who took advantage of their official positions and uniforms to , ABDUCT, KEEP UNDER ILLEGAL ARREST, TORTURE, THREATEN, GANG RAPE, MAKE NUDE VIDEOS of the females.
    SHAME ON HIM AND HIS LIKE.

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  • Asad Malik
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:44AM

    @Ayesha Malik: Yes. We should not tolerate such animals and put them down immediately

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  • Hasan Mehmood
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:51AM

    Amjad Ali, one of the accused on the run, told The Express Tribune from an undisclosed location that all five women were “call girls,” who were accompanied by their procurer.

    So if they were indeed call girls, does it mean they are fair game?

    This is is the crux of the deep seated mentality among us. Any woman of presumably loose character or even provocatively dressed (not in this case) can become an easy target without a pang of conscience. Recommend

  • Rana
    Jun 11, 2012 - 9:55AM

    So what if they are call girls? Their right to self respect may not be violated. There is no such moral ground which allows them to be molested. A symbolic punishment should be given to rapists.

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  • ...hmmm..
    Jun 11, 2012 - 10:47AM

    could be either way… needs to be investigated further.
    I guess if the media calls the females “victims” that automatically creates a soft corner in the reader’s mind about them. If the media called them “plaintiff” that would perhaps be more neutral.. on the other hand if the media called them “accusers” that would create a negative perception…
    … Media Spin is a strong tool..

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  • Ajamal
    Jun 11, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Ayesha Malik, before hanging let the crime be proven.

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  • Ahsan
    Jun 11, 2012 - 12:43PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    The accused must belong to PML (N) thats why they do this crime.

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  • LIAQAT ALI
    Jun 11, 2012 - 2:11PM

    .@Rana
    Agree with you and Hassan Mehmood .It is shame on our socity that we try to justify henious crimes against women by pointing to their alleged low character , provocative dress etc. I am sure you meant exemplary not symbolic punshment for the perpetrators.

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  • why does it matter
    Jun 11, 2012 - 4:08PM

    in all this banter I fail to realize why their occupation is of importance? Why does it matter if they were call girls or not and why should their families come up? if they were call girls was it okay for the military people to rape them? We only need to focus on whether they were raped or not. If they were indeed raped then the military officials should face strict punishment. If not, then the girls should be sued for defaming the force. this is no rocket science, why is the medical report taking so long?

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  • Rana
    Jun 11, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @LIAQAT ALI:

    Agreed

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  • Safwan
    Jul 9, 2012 - 12:53PM

    i wish i go there

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  • shaam Ali
    Jul 23, 2012 - 11:56AM

    The case must be opened again.
    If the girls are not “call girls”, then why they had stopped to security for checking.
    as it matters for country’s security.

    One thing about Amjad Ali, in Pakistan’s political system, nobody cares about the nation’s rights. Everybody trying to find for its own gain.

    Can anybody think about this statement of AMJAD ALI, that the call girls can get anything by politicians, just by exchange of one night. its ashamed full for our politicians.

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