LAHORE: A policeman has been accused of kidnapping a woman and her three-year-old son and holding her hostage for two days while she was repeatedly gang-raped.
The assistant sub inspector (ASI) also allegedly filmed the ordeal and, before releasing *Sania, 25, sent the footage to her parents and in-laws in a bid to portray her as an ‘immoral woman’ and to discourage the family from pursuing an FIR, Sania told The Express Tribune outside Shadara police station.
Shahdara police did register an FIR on Thursday, though only after a phone call from the Chief Minister’s Complaint Cell and the victim’s third trip to the police station. In the FIR, Sania accuses ASI Rana Basharat Ali and three others of kidnap, rape and of injuring her young son.
Sania said when she was released on October 26 and returned to her in-laws’ house, her husband Irfan, a labourer, refused to let her in. She then tried to go to her parents’ house, but her brothers turned her away. She said she had been living with her elder sister *Rani for the last two days.
According to some of her neighbours, Sania had been in a relationship with ASI Ali which ended two years ago. One neighbour said that Ali had recently been asking Sania to meet him, but she had repeatedly refused.
Sania denied ever having any relations with Ali. She said he lived in her neighbourhood and used to visit her in-laws.
She said four men in police uniform intercepted her at Shahdara Chowk on October 24 and told her she was wanted by police in a case. She said she resisted and cried for help, but they bundled her and her son into their white car.
They were blindfolded and taken to an unidentified location where the ASI and two other men from her neighbourhood, Tariq and Amir Bajwa, were already present, she said.
The ‘policemen’ who took her there left the place a while later, she said. Sania said she was then repeatedly raped at gunpoint by Ali, Tariq and Amir.
The facts as narrated in the FIR are slightly different. According to the FIR, Sania was intercepted and abducted at Shahdara Chowk not by four unidentified policemen, but by the ASI and Tariq and Amir, who were armed with pistols.
Sania said when she first went to Shahdara police station with her mother and sister on October 26, the day she was released, Station House Officer (SHO) Sharif Sindhu called her story a fabrication and refused to register an FIR.
She said the accused were putting pressure on her brothers, through influential people of the area, not to pursue the case.
They were also making threatening phone calls to her elder sister, she said.
Sania’s sister said the FIR was only registered after they complained to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.
SHO Sindhu said an FIR was registered “according to the law” and the accused would be arrested as soon as possible. He said Sania had been referred for a medico legal report to determine whether there were any physical evidence of rape on her body.
*Names in this story have been changed to protect the identity of the victim.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2010.