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Girl raped, videotaped by seven classmates: Mother accuses college of running prostitution ring

By Afnan Khan

LAHORE: The mother of a girl who was allegedly gang raped by seven of her classmates has claimed that the administration of the college where she studied was running a prostitution ring in the guise of an educational institution.

A student of ACCA at a local accountancy college was allegedly abducted, raped and videotaped by her class fellows Awais Khattak, Adil Kamal, Chaudhry Jahanzeb, Zeeshan Bhatti, John Masih, Zain Bhatti and Arsalan Shabbir in a guesthouse near Ghalib Market on Tuesday. The accused later threw her outside the college gate.

Her mother has nominated the college’s principal in the first information report (FIR) for not paying any heed to the girl’s repeated complaints that her classmates had been harassing her.

No heed: The mother told Daily Times her husband died a few years ago. She alleged that the accused victimised her daughter, as she was an orphan and a ‘soft target’ for them. She said the girl had informed the teachers and the principal about the harassment, but they did not take any action against the boys.

“After what my daughter has gone through, I have now realised that the principal is running a den of prostitution and pornographic film-making business. Some of his own people inside the college trap the girls and videotape their acts, and then use the videos to blackmail the girls,” she alleged.

She claimed that her chances of getting justice for her daughter looked bleak. She alleged that the police and the college administration were conniving to create hurdles for her. She alleged that the college administration was ‘protecting’ the accused.

The mother said a number of her daughter’s class fellows had telephoned and condoled with her, but no one from the college administration either called or replied to her telephone calls.

“No widow can imagine what my daughter has experienced and no one could be more grieved than me right now. Everyone is behaving like spectators, instead of helping us. The police has not taken any action against the guesthouse owners so far and they remain busy negotiating with the relatives of all the accused in the police station,” she claimed.

She said she had tried to meet the Punjab Police inspector general (IG), but was not allowed access to him. She claimed that the IG’s staff repeatedly told her that the IG was busy.

The girlÂ’s mother said she belonged to a wealthy family and had inherited a prosperous business from her husband. She said she had given her children the best education available. She said her daughter was set to leave for UK soon, but her future had now been overturned. She denied that she had tried to commit suicide after the incident. She said she had fallen ill, but had recovered and would fight to get justice.

“I am not going to allow this mafia to escape justice. I will simply leave the country, believing that this society is cursed,” she said. She said she and her family were being threatened by the accused, and the police was not taking notice.

On a date: Meanwhile, the Garden Town Police and the officers investigating the case have claimed that the girl had actually gone to the guesthouse with Khattak on a date. Sources in the police said she had not been abducted. They said her medico-legal report would decide the fate of the accused.

Stern action: Senior Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa expressed shock over the incident and said the government would take stern action against the people involved.

Khosa told Daily Times the victim and her family would be provided adequate security, and the authorities would monitor the case. He said the chief minister had already formed a committee to make laws to curb and punish violence against women.

“The government considers rape, acid-throwing and similar crimes as being equal to murder. We believe that the punishment for such crimes should be similar to the punishment for murder,” Khosa said.

Not available: The college principal declined to comment on the issue despite repeated attempts. When the Daily Times team visited the campus for the principal’s campus, the team was denied entry. A member of the administration, however, came out. On repeated requests, he dialled a number on his cell phone, and was ‘instructed’ to say the principal was not available.
Source: Daily Times
Date:6/7/2009

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