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Rape allegations Woman vows to efface stigma on husband

SAHIWAL: The director general of the Supreme Court of Pakistan`s Human Rights Cell, Saifur Rehman has called the Pakpattan district police officer, an SHO and an investigation officer of the Qabola police station on April 2 to explain their position regarding registration of a rape case against a kiln worker.

The summons was issued on the written complaint of Khadija, wife of Munir, who alleged that her husband was booked in a fake rape case FIR No 06/12 (PPC 496A) by the Qabola police at the behest of kiln owners.

Munir is alleged to have gathered kiln workers who articulated their demands for wages under a notification of 2010. The Qabola police picked up Munir on Feb 2.

Khadija, while appearing in the court of Pakpattan District and Sessions Judge Habibullah Amir, said her husband was being victimised.

Sources told Dawn that the couple, residents of Chak 20KB, had been employed at Haji Khalid`s kiln industry for the last six years. Munir, along with several other labourers, launched a campaign for wages according to a notification of 2010. According to that kiln labourers must be paid Rs510 for 1,000 bricks but actually the owners pay Rs250 to each worker.

Haji Khalid asked the labourers to talk to Iftikhar Mohar, who heads the Qabola Kiln Owners Association. As the negotiations failed, the labourers planned a protest campaign and suffered the `wrath` of the kiln owners` henchmen and the police. The labourers led by Munir were beaten up on Qabola-Pakpattan Road and the police threatened them with dire consequences.

Subsequently, the labourers pleaded their case in the open court of Sahiwal division Commissioner Qazi Muhammad Ashfaq during his visit to Arifwala but that forum also proved of little assistance to the labourers.

The Qabola police arrested Munir, who had lost his job, on the allegation of raping a woman.

Khadija told Dawn that the Qabola police tried to coerce Munir into withdrawing from the protest campaign by filing a bond of Rs200,000 and sent him to the Sahiwal Central Jail for his refusal to succumb to pressure.

During the last two months, she has sent appeals to the president, the prime minister, the chief justice, the Lahore High Court, the Punjab governor, the chief minister and rights activists. She even talked to Hamza Shahbaz but nothing happened.

The Human Rights Cell director general, taking cognisance of a letter (No 10673-P/2012), has summoned the Pakpattan DPO and two other police officials.

Meanwhile, the Qabola police admitted in court of the D&SJ that the police had failed to find the complainant for the last two months.

Khadija expressed her resolve to fight the case till its logical conclusion.

Dawn

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