The victim of Monday’s alleged gang rape in Mansehra has threatened to commit suicide if the perpetrators are not brought to justice. The 17-year-old resident of Mansehra, Parveen*, spoke to reporters over the phone from an undisclosed location on Wednesday.
She said her best friend Anum – who conned Parveen to get into the car with rapists – lost her mother three years ago and her father was bedridden with a bad back. Since Anum’s own family was unable to bear the cost of her education, Parveen’s family had been supporting Anum financially for the last two years, said the college student.
“This is how she decided to reward me, with an irremovable stigma, after trapping me for criminals who had destroyed the life of several innocent girls.
“I told her not to but she dragged me into the car. My trust in a friend destroyed my life.”
Weeping over the phone, Parveen claimed the accused rapists took advantage of the car’s tinted windows and loud music so no one could hear her screaming at the top of her lungs, crying for help.
Answering a question, the victim said she vowed to continue her struggle till she “sees the culprits hanged”.
This is now a test for the country’s judicial system, said Parveen. “The Peshawar High Court chief justice needs to mete out exemplary punishment to the accused or else I will take my own life, the responsibility of which will lie solely with the judiciary and the police.”
A life changed
The student of inter was conned by her friend to sit in a car Anum claimed belonged to her fiancé. Two men were in the car – a seminary teacher Qari Naseer and the driver, Anum’s friend Faizan. Hussain, the son of union council Jabori’s nazim Kala Khan, was picked up a little later.
Parveen was raped in the moving vehicle by Naseer and Hussain. The accused rapists were arrested under Section 376-2 of the Pakistan Penal Code on Monday night. Anum and Faizan have been charged for abetting the crime.
According to the police, the men were involved in several other cases of molestation and abuse of college girls. They would make videos of the abuse to blackmail the girls later.
The accused were produced before the court of civil judge Lubna Zaman who sent them on a four-day physical remand.
By the time Naseer and the rest of the accused exited the court, residents had collected outside in protest.
They pelted the accused with tomatoes, eggs and sprayed ink on them, forcing the police to escort the culprits in an armoured personnel vehicle to an undisclosed location.
Later, activists, representatives of civil society and students protested in the city and blocked the roads for an hour. The protesters claimed had the police launched a drive against tinted windows, the girl would have been saved a horrific ordeal.
According to Mansehra DPO Khurrum, the police have recovered 22 SIMs, three cell phones, a memory card, a USB and fake number plates of the vehicle.
Briefing Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, the DPO confirmed all three men and the female accomplice have been arrested, read a statement issued on Wednesday. DNA tests have been conducted and forensic evidence has been forwarded.
Khattak directed the case be disposed on an urgent basis so the accused are unable to use any delaying tactics. “The decision should be made in hours, not days,” said Khattak. (*Name has been changed to protect the victim’s identity)
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2014.