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Defence concludes cross-examination of gang-rape victim

By Ishaq Tanoli

KARACHI: The hearing of the Kainat Soomro gang-rape case was adjourned till May 7 on Tuesday after a defence lawyer completed the cross-examination of the teenage victim.

The accused – Shaban Sheikh, Sheikh Ahsan, Roshan Aleem and Kaleemullah — have been charged with kidnapping the teenage girl in January 2007 in Mehar village in Dadu district and subjecting her to sexual assault.

The defence counsel, Waqar Shah, who is representing all the accused, resumed the cross-examination on Tuesday and asked the victim how she reached home and what was the distance between her home and the place where she was detained.

The victim girl replied that after escaping from the custody of the accused she boarded a bus and reached her home, adding that she did not know the distance.

The defence counsel asked her whether the bus was air-conditioned. The victim replied in the affirmative.

She further said that she along with her parents went to the Mehar police station to lodge a case against the accused, but the police officials refused to do so, adding that they filed an application in the court of a judicial magistrate concerned, who ordered her medical examination and the case was registered against the accused only after the medical report.

The defence counsel also asked a question regarding her marriage with one of the accused, Ahsan. The victim said that she did not marry anyone, but the accused forcibly obtained her thumb impression on a free-will marriage certificate.

After the completion of the cross-examination, VIIth Additional District and Sessions Judge (south) Nizar Ali Khawaja adjourned the hearing till May 7 when the special public prosecutor, Abdul Maroof, would examine a medico-legal officer and the investigation officer of the case.

The prosecution said that the accused allegedly kidnapped Kainat Soomro on Jan 10, 2007 from her native village, detained the girl for three days and allegedly subjected her to gang-rape several times. However, she managed to escape while the accused persons were asleep.

Judgment reserved in Afreen Baig murder case

Additional District and Sessions Judge (south) Mohammad Sultan Awan reserved on Tuesday his verdict for May 13 in the Afreen Baig murder case.

The judge, who was conducting the trial inside the prison, reserved his order after recording the evidence of all witnesses and final arguments from all sides.

On Tuesday, the defence counsel, the special public prosecutor and the counsel for the complainant filed copies of the rulings of the superior courts which they adopted during their final arguments.

According to the prosecution, TV producer and artiste Afreen Baig was found murdered at her Defence residence in October 2004. The victim’s driver, Mohammad Bux Umrani, and his wife, Zahida, allegedly killed her while Afreen Baig’s husband, Farooq Mengal, masterminded the killing of his own wife.

A judicial magistrate recorded the confessional statement of the victim’s driver Mohammad Bux Umrani under Section 164 of the criminal procedure code. The accused confessed to his involvement and said that he had killed the woman on the inducement of her husband, Farooq Mengal, since he was angry with her and suspected that Afreen Baig was still involved with her former husband, it added.

A case (FIR 163/04) was registered under Sections 302, 392, 337-f, 109 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Clifton police station on the complaint of the victim’s brother, Ishtiaq Baig.
Source: Dawn

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