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‘48 rape cases in Karachi in three months’

Karachi: Some 48 women were raped during the first quarter of 2009 in Karachi alone. This, however, is just the number of registered cases, while the actual figure is far higher, since a large number of cases are not even registered. This was revealed on Thursday at the launch of the Aurat Foundation’s quarterly report on violence against women. The launch followed by a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC).

About 529 women were victimised in 419 incidents that occurred across 23 districts of Sindh between January 1 and March 31, MPA Nusrat Abbasi from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) said, while she shared the findings of the report with the media.

Abbasi said that despite a great strength of women in the parliament, not a single bill or resolution on women’s issues had been presented in the assemblies during the present government. Female parliamentarians must show unity at least on initiatives taken for providing relief to women, if not on other issues, Abbasi said. “Women holding reserved seats in the assemblies must not forget their mandate and take their responsibility of bringing relief to the women of the country,” she added.

The report also highlighted the trend of not registering crimes. According to the findings, FIRs were registered merely in 143 cases whereas 241 cases could not be registered, while in 35 incidents, the status of the FIR could not be ascertained.

The corrupt police system has made it very difficult for victims to register their cases and especially when the accused are influential, the report said, while referring to Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), according to which, any person can register a case at a police station against any accused.

Although Jirgas were banned in 2004, as many as 31 Jirgas held on women-related issues during the quarter in which seven women were given as compensation to settle tribal conflicts or free will marriage issues, disclosed Aurat Foundation Sindh Coordinator Lala Hassan.

Five cases were registered against Jirga holders and some were also arrested but released later since most of the parents of survivors and Jirga holders denied conducting any Jirga, he said, adding that others were bailed out through courts.

The report points out that most of the accused were husbands (66 cases), brothers (15), cousins (nine), uncles (two), fathers (five), in-laws (22), close relatives (34) police personnel (18), area people (18), robbers (three), son or step son (nine), more than 46 (women accused in suicide and attempt suicide), 74 others while the relationship of 147 accused with victim could not be ascertained.

The report states that the motives that mainly remained behind the murders were domestic conflicts in 16 cases, robbery in three cases, money issues in two cases, matrimonial disputes in four, land dispute in two, tribal conflict in two, lust for sex in three cases and the motive behind murders could not be ascertained in 27 cases.

The report further says that the motive behind honour killings mainly was karo kari or doubt of illicit relations (20 cases), domestic conflict (five), land dispute (one), free will marriage (one) tribal conflict (one), money (one) while in 24 cases, the motive could not be ascertained.

In the incidents of suicides committed by 47 women, 30 were due to domestic conflicts, four due to forced marriages, two due to free-will marriages. The motives behind nine suicides could not be ascertained while one woman committed suicide due to poverty.
Source: The News

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