An additional district and sessions court on Wednesday granted pre-arrest bail to three men accused of raping a woman in the outskirts of Islamabad.
Bail was granted to the trio by the trial court judge, Muhammad Azam Khan, against surety bonds of Rs100,000 each.
Twenty-year-old Shahida Khan* was allegedly sexually assaulted on July 17 by Raja Ghafoor*, Qaiser* and Abid* at a house in Lakhwal near Bani Gala. The police had registered an FIR against the accused.
Sources close to the development told The Express Tribune that due to pressure on the investigation team from the accused party, the police initially made no serious efforts to arrest the accused. Later, after the police convinced the victim’s family to settle out-of-court, the accused surrendered to the police and were produced before the court.
As part of the patch-up efforts, the police high-ups replaced Investigation Officer (IO) Mazhar Iqbal, who had been conducting raids to locate and arrest the accused.
According to the sources, Rural Superintendent of Police Sardar Sadaqat replaced Iqbal as IO with Muhammad Akbar — who played a key role in convincing the victim’s family to strike a deal with the accused.
When contacted, IO Muhammad Akbar claimed that he arrested the accused and produced them in court. However, he denied having played a role in helping strike a deal between the two parties.
He further claimed that he would be submitting a charge-sheet against the accused during the next hearing.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2013.
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