Incomplete investigations: SHC orders police to submit weekly report on Khairpur rape

Court unhappy with report presented by SSP's representative, asks police to arrest suspects.


Our Correspondent July 21, 2014

SUKKUR: The Sindh High Court's Sukkur bench expressed displeasure over a report submitted by the Khairpur police on the Rasoolabad rape case on Monday. The court has ordered the police to submit a weekly report on the case to the additional registrar.

Justice Sadiq Hussain Bhatti heard the case and issued these orders on a constitutional petition filed by Muhammad Paryal Memon, a resident of Rasoolabad, through his lawyer Nisar Bhambhro.

The petitioner's lawyer told The Express Tribune that on July 3, the court had issued notices to the home secretary Sindh, Police IG, SSP Khairpur and SHO Hingorga to appear before the court on July 21 and submit a report on the gang rape. Since SSP Khairpur Usman Ghani is on leave, said the lawyer, he had sent a representative to submit the report in court.

The court was unhappy with the report and told the police that the gang rape was a sensitive matter and the inquiry should have been conducted by an officer of grade 17 or above. The court, according to the lawyer added that the inquiry had been carried out by grade 14 and grade 11 officers and this was not acceptable.

According to the lawyer, Justice Bhatti also ordered the police to arrest the remaining culprits and challan the case in an anti-terrorism court as soon as possible

What happened that night

On May 25, seven men broke into Paryal Memon's house in Memon Muhalla, Rasoolabad. The men took all their cash and valuables and then proceeded to gang rape four of the five women present at home. At the time of the incident, Paryal Memon was the only man in the house and had been locked away in another room. The women who were raped included Memon's wife, two unmarried sisters-in-law and a niece. The men spared Memon's elderly mother-in-law due to her age.

They managed to escape after raping the women with all the family goods. "Everyone was sleeping at the time," said Paryal's wife who was also gang raped. "The men were holding Kalashnikovs. They took us to a room and locked the doors. They abused us there."

The next day when Paryal Memon told relatives and neighbours what happened, they advised him to lodge an FIR against the burglary and not the gang rape as it was a matter of the family's honour.

Memon went to the police station and lodged an FIR against seven unidentified men for breaking in to his house. A couple of days later, the police arrested two suspects identified as Rafiq Sahito and Saleem Sahito. After going through cell phones of the men they arrested, the police found videos which showed that not only had the dacoits robbed the family blind but had also raped four women including Paryal's niece. They went and asked Paryal if the women of his family had been raped as the act had been recorded on the perpetrators' cell phones. Presented with the footage of the incident, Paryal decided to lodge another FIR against seven men, including Saleem Sahito, Rafiq Sahito, Aijaz Machi and Laloo Samito.The second FIR was lodged more than a month ago and the police have yet to arrest the men nominated in it.

Memon and the rape survivors were in Karachi on July 18 to protest outside the Karachi Press Club. They said they had come to Karachi to protest and fight for their family's honour. They demanded that their rapists should be arrested.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2014.

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