MULTAN: A gang of 15 dacoits raped five girls and plundered cash and valuables from almost all the houses of a village in Jalalpur Pirwala, Multan, late on Tuesday night. Some of the girls and women, however, took to the heels to save their honour. According to reports reaching here on Friday, as many as 15 dacoits surrounded Basti Jhabail (Mauza Karmonwali), about 13 kilometres from Jalalpur Pirwala, and stormed into the houses of labourers at 11:15pm where they raped five girl’s aged between 20 and 25 for three hours. In the meantime, several girls escaped from their houses. Muhammad Iqbal said he locked himself along with all the women of her family in a room when the dacoits came to his house and he helped the women escape from a window. He said later he told the dwellers of Karmonwali about the incident and they made an announcement on a mosque loudspeaker seeking help against the dacoits.
As many people turned to Basti Jhabail, the gangsters opened fire in the air and warned the people against approaching further. On receiving information, the police reached the place three hours after the incident. By that time the dacoits had fled with cash and valuables.
Khadim Husain, another villager, said when the dacoits entered his house, three women of his family jumped from a 10-foot high wall to save their honour. It is learnt that Muhammad Ramzan alias Kala, one of the members of Bagga dacoits gang, wanted to marry a girl of the village but her parents had turned down the proposal. He masterminded the gruesome act to exact revenge. Advocate Ejaz Ahmad Khachala, a villager, told this correspondent that the police did not allow them to keep any kind of weapon for protection. He said it was not for the first time that dacoits had robbed the villagers of their valuables and rapped the girls, but was a regular feature. The people kept mum for fear of disgrace. He said two major gangs of dacoits – Bagga Daha gang and Shauki Kalal gang – had been active in the areas for the last one and-a-half years and the police had launched three operations against the gangs, but all without results.
He said Shauki Kalal was arrested in Karachi one and-a-half months back and all the members of his gang parted ways with some of them joining Bagga gang and some other made small groups.
Jalalpur Pirwala Saddar police SHO Mian Ataullah said none of the victims was ready to become complainant in the case nor was any woman ready for the medical examination. DPO Munir Ahmad Chishti told Dawn that ASP Fayyaz Ahmad visited Basti Jhabail to glean information and he himself and the district nazim would visit the place on Friday (today). He said it was second incident of this nature in the locality and the police had already arrested those involved in the first crime.