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Court summons two witnesses in Rabia rape, murder case

Court summons two witnesses in Rabia rape, murder case

A local court on Monday summoned two witnesses, who claim to have identified the suspects arrested for the rape and murder of six-year-old Rabia Baqa Muhammad.

The investigating officer told the court of the West judicial magistrate that one of the detained accused, Fazal Ghulam Rasool, has confessed to subjecting the girl to sexual assault and murdering her.

The IO said the suspect recorded his confessional statement before the police and described the account of kidnapping Rabia from Orangi Town and taking her to a place located in Baloch Goth where the three suspects raped her and then killed her.

The officer said two witnesses contacted the police and claimed to have identified the three detained accused, namely Rasool, Raheem Kareem Bakhsh and Faqeer Muhammad. The three men are being detained by the police on physical remand until April 25 as their interrogation is still under way.

The judicial magistrate has directed the IO to produce the two witnesses before the court so their statements can be recorded under Section 169 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Rabia had gone missing from her house in Orangi Town’s Baloch Goth on April 15. Her body bearing torture marks was recovered from the Khairabad forest in Manghopir the next day. On the complaint of her grandfather Abdul Qadir, the Manghopir police registered FIR No 139/18 against his neighbours Bakhsh, Muhammad and Rasool.

Reports of the girl’s rape and murder had sparked a violent demonstration in Manghopir on April 17. The protesters had placed the minor’s body on Manghopir Road and blocked both of its tracks.

After failing to disperse the protesters, police had baton-charged and tear-gassed them, but the law enforcers were attacked with stones, leaving 10 cops, including a DSP and two SHOs of the Orangi Town Division, wounded.

SP Abid Baloch said the police had backed away after they were pelted with stones, but someone opened fire on them, resulting in injuries to three of the demonstrators.

Ilyas Ali Haider succumbed to his wounds, while the other injured were identified as Adnan Zaman and 13-year-old Fazal. Officials investigating the incident said the three men were fired at from the direction where no policeman was present.

The girl’s family claimed that some Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders had forced them to participate in the protest. They also claimed that the PTI leaders were now offering them money to not disclose these facts to police.

Officials accused PTI leaders and workers of vandalising public property, ambulances and police and media vans.

“On the basis of these facts, a case has been registered against the PTI District West leadership at the Peerabad police station, with sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act included in the FIR,” said an official.

“Police have nominated 13 PTI leaders, while 150 others are unidentified. Six of the 13 nominated PTI District West leaders have been arrested,” added the official. Meanwhile, a PTI delegation led by Imran Ismail asked the Orangi Town Division SP’s office to register a case against the police for Haider’s killing. Officials said the PTI leaders claimed that Haider was their worker, but when they were told that he was affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, they left quietly.

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