MULTAN: A 21-year-old woman was kidnapped from her residence in Layyah district on Thursday and then gang raped and hanged from a tree, according to the police. Her body was found Friday morning. A man arrested in connection with the crime alleged that the victim had blackmailed her rapists, saying she would make the rape and kidnapping public if one of them did not marry her.
S*, the oldest of nine siblings, was taken from her home in the rural area of Nawaz Kot in the sub-district of Chobara, according to her 53-year-old blind father Allah Ditta. He informed local police of her disappearance after he was unable to locate her for three or four hours.
Allah Ditta told the police that S’s dowry and Rs50,000 were also missing from the home. SHO Chobara police station Yousuf Lashari reportedly told Allah Ditta to return to his home and leave the recovery to the police.
On Friday morning, local residents found the body of a woman hanging from a tree near a police check post on the highway connecting Layyah to other districts as they left their homes for Fajr prayers. Residents reportedly informed the police but no official reached the spot.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and sought a report from DPO Layyah, who subsequently brought in Allah Ditta to identify the body as his daughter’s.
The body was sent for autopsy to Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Chobara.
A post mortem report revealed that the victim had been strangled by up to four men. She was also gang raped by a minimum of four persons before the strangulation.
DSP Chobara Sadat Chohan said that Saqib, aged 30, and three of his relatives had been arrested for interrogation. The suspect is a local munshi in the grain market. He confessed that he had run away with S on Thursday, with the intention of marrying her. However, Saqib and three others raped her and, when threatened that she would make the rape public, killed her.
DPO Layyah Ghazi Salahuddin has submitted a report into the incident to the CM. An FIR has been updated on Allah Ditta’s application under sections 302/365-B and 376/34. The remaining suspects are still at large.
(Names changed to protect identities)
Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2014.