A teenager, who was allegedly gang raped by police officials about two months back, has finally been sent home from Darul Aman. The alleged rape victim, Sophia*, was sent to Darul Aman Abbottabad on August 6 after being produced in the court of a judicial magistrate by the Mansehra Police.
Sophia said she had eloped with Aquil*, who after keeping her in a hotel for four days disappeared on August 1. She claimed she was picked up near a market by three police personnel, who raped and tortured her for three days at the Mansehra City Police Station. On the fourth day, she claimed they took her to Kaghan Police Station where she was raped by two more policemen. The policemen then produced her in the court of a judicial magistrate, who without questioning her sent her to Darul Aman, she added.
Sophia narrated her ordeal when she recorded her statement before the court on August 7. The police registered a criminal case against five police personnel under sections 366/34 of the PPC and Hazara deputy inspector general suspended the station house officers of Kaghan and Mansehra City police stations.
Back then, the victim’s family also accused the police of pressurising them for reconciliation. The Peshawar High Court and the Supreme Court ordered an inquiry into the incident.
However, when Mansehra District Judge called Sophia to record her statement afresh, she retracted her earlier statement, refuting the charges she levelled against the policemen.
Her mother, Tahira Bibi*, had filed an application praying that her daughter be sent back home. Bibi, who was visibly elated for reuniting with her daughter, has refused to pursue the case. She said she has gotten her daughter back and that is “more than enough”. However, she evaded a question about whether the family was still facing pressure from the police.
*Names have been changed to protect identities
Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2012.