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17-yr-old killed in rape ‘bid’ as crowd gawks

KARACHI: Scores of N’s neighbours stood outside her house as she screamed from inside. Her mother, who had escaped, begged them to do something. No one moved. Eventually N’s mother managed to grab someone’s cell phone, dial her husband’s number and then he called the police.

Half an hour later, the police carried out two bodies.

This was what happened in Zafar Town on Thursday, when three unidentified armed men entered 17-year-old N’s house and tried to rape her, instead of following their original program to rob the house. “They are all cowards,” said DSP Sohail Faiz in disgust while talking to Daily Times later on. “They could have saved the girl, had they intervened instead of just standing around.”

The Shah Latif police arrived and killed one of the men during an encounter in the room where he and his associates tried to rape her. N’s mother managed to get out of the house when the would-be rapists broke in. She managed to gather a crowd for help. By the time the police arrived, there was a crowd of nearly 2,000 people outside the house, all of who knew what was happening inside, but none of who dared take any action. By this time, N’s mother had used a bystander’s cell phone to contact her husband, A, a laborer who was at the Quaidabad market at the time.

It was her husband, and not any of the by-standers, who contacted the police for help.

The family belongs to the Punjab and rented the house nearly four months back. The deceased, N, was an expert embroiderer who worked at a factory near the house. She was the third of five children.

When the police arrived, they asked the attackers to surrender, but got no response. What nobody in the house was aware of, including the family, the police and the attackers, was that there were two exits to the room where the rape was attempted. The attackers found the hidden gate when they tried to flee by breaking through the wall.

The front gate to the house was made of iron and the police were unable to break it down. They decided to go in from the roof of the neighbor’s house. Inside, there was one man, armed with a TT pistol. The girl was lying on the bed in a bloody condition. In the return of fire, Saleem Sarwar, 28, was shot dead. His two accomplices escaped.

The DSP said that from the position in which the deceased was found, it may be assumed that she had been raped, and killed as she tried to resist. The police found the other four siblings locked in the bathroom. The bodies were taken to JPMC. FIR No. 182/08 has been registered on behalf of the deceased’s father.
Source: Daily Times
Date:4/18/2008

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