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PHC issues notices to vindicated accused of rape

PHC issues notices to vindicated accused of rape

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Thursday issued notices to all accused in the alleged rape of a resident of Karak whose case was closed last year after the suspects were acquitted by a trial court.

Alleged rape victim Uzma Ayub’s counsel Suriyya Jabeen informed the division bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Fasihul Mulk and Justice Ikramullah Khan that her client was kidnapped and raped by assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Hakim Shah, police official Naseebullah and 11 others.

She said former chief justice Dost Muhammad Khan took suo motu notice of the incident and directed an anti-terrorism court (ATC) to conduct the trial, but the prosecution failed to provide sufficient proof against the accused which led to their acquittal.

“Some police personnel were involved in the case and police themselves conducted the investigation which casts doubt on the whole process,” Jabeen said.

The counsel contended the ATC decision was not based on facts as several pieces of evidence were ignored, adding complete proof cannot be provided in such cases. She added her client was not only raped during her kidnapping but also gave birth to a girl who is around three years old now.

The division bench, after hearing arguments, issued notices to accused in the case and sought their reply on the next date of hearing.

ATC Judge Syed Asghar Ali Shah, on February 1 last year, acquitted all 13 suspects and disposed of the case. The order was issued after charges against the accused, which included an SHO, a sub-inspector, an ASI, and an army official, could not be proven.

According to the FIR registered by Ayub’s mother Bilqisam Jana at Takht-e-Nusrati police station in Karak and Ayub’s own testimony at the PHC on October 13, 2011, 13 men allegedly abducted Ayub late in 2010, kept her in custody for 11 months, and repeatedly raped her.

Uzma was pregnant when she returned home in September 2011 and maintains her daughter Zeba’s father is among the thirteen accused of raping her. However, DNA tests had cleared all the accused from being the child’s father.

The accused denied all charges since day one and said they were being victimized for arresting Ayub’s brother who was wanted in six different cases. Ayub’s brother Alamzeb Khattak was later gunned down on December 9, 2011 within the limits of a Karak court while escorting his sister during a hearing.

Express Tribune

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