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Rape victim falls prey to sexual violence again

Rape victim falls prey to sexual violence again

MANSEHRA: A rape victim went to the police seeking justice. Instead, she was reportedly raped again by the policeman who had promised to bring her rapist to task.

Masooma Bibi*, 14, a resident of Andrasi village, filed an application with the Mansehra district police officer saying she was grazing her goats on August 11 when Khush Niaz from the same village raped her.

She then lodged an FIR against the accused at Shinkiari police station where Moharrar Mushtaq registered her case. Masooma said Mushtaq consoled her, promising to bring the perpetrator to task and remained in touch with her mother over the phone.

On Tuesday, Mushtaq asked Masooma to come to the police station from where they would go to the hospital for her medical examination.

“When I reached the police station with my mother, Mushtaq asked us to get in his private car to go to the hospital,” she said, adding Mushtaq drove them to his residence in Ghazi Township. He then took Masooma inside his residence and asked her mother to wait outside.

However, once they entered the house, Mushtaq locked the door and allegedly proceeded to rape Masooma. When she resisted and cried for help, Mushtaq threatened her of dire consequences and botching up her earlier rape case.

The victim later refused to accompany the policeman to the hospital and said she would withdraw her complaint and leave for her native village. However, she went to the DPO’s office where she met DPO Khurram Rasheed and narrated her ordeal. On her complaint, the DPO ordered the immediate arrest of Mushtaq and a medical examination of the victim.

Sources in the police said the accused was arrested under Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code while the medical examination confirmed Masooma had been raped. On Wednesday, the accused was presented before a judicial magistrate who remanded Mushtaq in police custody for one day.

Meanwhile, civil society organisations including, Aurat Foundation, Human Development Organisation, SAHARA Foundation, Rural Development Project and Savera Foundation condemned the rape and demanded exemplary punishment for the policeman.

Last year, a girl had accused five policemen ,including the SHOs of city police Mansehra and Kaghan police, of gang raping her in police custody. Siham Bibi* later recorded her statement in from a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Pakistan Penal Code but then backed down allegedly due to pressure from the police.

Express Tribune

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