A prayer leader who was allegedly paraded naked in Chohar Sharif village has blamed the police of siding with the accused men.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday after filing a complaint with the district police officer (DPO) of Haripur, Chan Muhammad Khan, 51, who is the prayer leader at a local mosque, said his son Naeem Shehzad had an argument with the son of an influential local, Ajmal Khan, around three days earlier.
On the evening of the same day, he was about to give the call for evening prayers when Ajmal Khan, Amanullah, Abdul Salam, Sahab Khan and Safeer allegedly barged into the mosque armed with pistols and AK-47 rifles and dragged Chan out of the building. Chan claimed the men did not even bother taking off their shoes before entering the mosque.
“They first disrobed me and then paraded me naked in the village for quite some time. The villagers saw what was happening but did not dare to rescue me because the accused are influential people,” said Chan between sobs.
He claimed the men beat him savagely, thrashing him with the rear end of the rifles and kicking him. They then reportedly took Chan to their guest room where they assaulted him for another two hours.
Chan said when his wife approached the local police for help, the accused set him free and he had to walk home without any clothes. He, however, said the police did not turn up to take any action against the perpetrators.
The next morning Chan lodged a written complaint at City police station, but they neither registered an FIR against the accused nor did they arrest him, he claimed. Chan said the men degraded him due to the dispute between Ajmal Khan’s son and his own.
However, some independent sources said the prayer leader had allegedly been accused of trying to sexually assault a boy from the family of the accused with the help of another villager. But Chan rejected the allegations, saying the story was fabricated to justify the crime against him.
Meanwhile, City police have registered a case against all six accused under multiple sections of the Pakistan Penal Code as per the directions of Haripur DPO Najeeb ur Rehman Bhagvu. None of the accused, however, have been apprehended as yet.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.