Two police officials were suspended after a teenaged girl, who had accused the police of raping and torturing her, recorded her statement before a judicial magistrate on Friday.
Sophia*, who had earlier claimed she had been gang-raped by nine police officials of Mansehra and Kaghan for five days, reaffirmed her statement in the court, where she was brought under tight security.
Though the 17-year-old appeared to be scared and under pressure, she did not give in. As she stepped out of the court, media personnel approached her for comments. However, the police did not allow her to give any statements.
Meanwhile, the Hazara deputy inspector of general police took notice of the case following her statement and suspended Khurshid Khan Tanoli and Kaghan Rasheed Khan, station house officers (SHO) of police stations in Mansehra and Kaghan respectively.
District Police Officer Sher Akbar Khan condemned the incident and said that an inquiry committee has been constituted and cases are being registered against the suspected police officials.
“[We will hold] an identification parade of officials from both police stations during the inquiry [to implicate the suspects],” he added.
Sophia, whose family has been settled in a Mohajir camp in Karachi, had eloped with Aquil*, her neighbour. The two came to Mansehra from Karachi, where Aquil abandoned her after they spent two days together.
She approached the local police who took her the City Police Station in Mansehra, where, according to her, a policeman with a beard beat her “savagely” with a bamboo stick. After being raped by three policemen for three days, she was to Kaghan Police Station, where other officials raped her for another two days.
On August 5, she was produced before a doctor. However, the lady constable accompanying her said she was exempted from the medical examination, following which she was sent to Darul Amaan.
*Name changed to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2012.