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Abuse of power or girl who cried wolf?

By Umer Nangiana

ISLAMABAD: The victim of an alleged rape by a cop is not only ready to forgive him, but is willing to retreat from her earlier statement that she was raped at all in exchange for forty thousand rupees, sources said.

The husband of the human rights lawyer pursuing the victim’s case, using his contacts in the police, conveyed a message to the accused constable and his seniors that a deal was possible.

“He met a police station registrar and told him that he could get the case dropped for Rs40,000,” said a police official. He told his cop friend that the woman was faking the rape case and buying her silence would not be a problem, the police official added.

The initial medical report of the victim stated that “no bruises or signs of penetration were found on her”. However, there was insufficient evidence to reject the rape claim and the police took DNA samples of the victim for tests.

The alleged rapist and his alleged accomplices’ DNA would also be taken. The constable, MA*, maintained innocence and returned from his native town of Lodhran when summoned by the police. However, he was not taken into formal police custody.

Police said he was in their custody, though he was not handcuffed and it seemed to be a prerogative of the investigation officer under the law to keep it that way.

A police official investigating the case maintained that the initial statements given by the victim were later contradicted by her. Police had called her husband from Mandi Bahauddin, her native town in Sargodha District.

“He told us that his wife had left him two months ago and he had not heard from her since,” the official said. The victim had claimed that she had just gotten to Islamabad from Sargodha on the night of the incident.

Investigations revealed that she was staying with her uncle in Pir Wadhai, Rawalpindi for two months. She used to go to police checkpoints asking for alms, which is she came to know the constable at Chungi 26 near Tarnol.

“She once asked him to get her a good husband as she was poor and could not make ends meet. The constable referred her to one of his friends, a widower, who was looking for a mother for his children,” said an official of the police.

She met the man and stayed with him for a night, but the man refused to marry her after discovering that she was already married with three children. The man, a daily wage labourer, said he could not afford another family.

Police also obtained the phone record of the accused constable and said his locations according to the record matched his statements and contradicted the victim’s claims.

However, police officials said reconciliation was not an option and all facts would be examined to establish the true story. The accused would be dealt with according to the law if found guilty.

Source: The Express Tribune