By: IMRAN GABOL
LAHORE: The family of an alleged rape victim has sobbed out its ordeal in the face of the Muzaffargarh police’s ‘reluctance’ to arrest the suspect.
Reaching the chief minister’s office here on Wednesday, the victim’s uncle alleged that the Muzaffargarh police had refused to arrest the suspect, and threatened that all members of the family would commit suicide in case of further delay in action.
“All members of the family will set themselves ablaze if no action is taken against the suspects,” said Munir Bullah, the uncle of the victim. According to Bullah, his 15-year-old niece was raped and later abducted from her house to undergo abortion by her employer at Jatoi tehsil’s Shehr Sultan area.
Bullah told Dawn that his niece had been working as domestic help at a house at Shehr Sultan, where her employer raped her and in June 2015 she discovered that she was pregnant. He said they approached the Shehr Sultan police, where the elders of the area were called for a panchayat and the suspect confessed to his crime.
Family says it’s being forced to self-immolate
He said the panchayat declared the suspect guilty and directed him to marry the girl and stopped her family from pursuing the case. The ill-fated family complied with the verdict but five months later (Sept 15), the suspect and his three armed accomplices stormed the girl’s house and whisked her to Shah Saddar Deen area of Dera Ghazi Khan, he claimed.
He said they finally lodged a case of abduction at the Shehr Sultan police station against the four intruders on Sept 20. “The suspects had abducted the girl for forced abortion and after 10 days she was thrown outside the Muzaffargrah city police station,” said Bullah.
He said the police alerted them and they went to the DPO Office and lodged a complaint against the suspects. The DPO sent the girl for medical examination and the report confirmed that she was made to undergo abortion procedure, he added.
The family’s representative further said they visited one police officer after another, including the DPO, but no arrest was made. He said they also sent copies of the FIR and medical examination report to the chief minister, the Lahore High Court chief justice and human rights organisations but no one had come forward to help them.
Muzaffargarh DPO Awais Ahmed told Dawn that a case had been registered and raids were being conducted to arrest the suspects. He said that after medical examination, swabs had been taken and sent to Lahore forensic laboratory for DNA examination.
Earlier, in October, a rape victim had committed suicide after dousing petrol on herself outside Muzaffargarh’s city police station. In her statement to a doctor on Oct 13, she had claimed that she was raped by ASI Noor and constable Abdul Qayyum but no case was registered in any police station of the district.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had expressed grief over the incident and later offered a job to the brother of the deceased girl besides announcing Rs500,000 for the victim’s family.
In another incident in March 2015, a rape victim in Muzaffargarh had died after she set herself ablaze to protest against a police report which helped her perpetrator obtain bail.