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Dereliction of duty: SHC orders police protection for rape survivor

KARACHI: Police officials have been directed to provide protection to a student allegedly raped by her classmate, who also took her nude photographs to blackmail her.

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has also issued notices to the provincial advocate-general and prosecutor-general to file comments of the home and police authorities explaining why the police are harassing the girl at the behest of the influential rapist.

The matter was taken to court by the girl’s mother, who approached the court against the police authorities for harassing her family. She had named the provincial home secretary, the Sindh IG, SSP investigations, the SHOs of Kharadar and Mithadar police stations and the accused, Javed Rauf.

The petitioner said her daughter met Rauf at an educational institution, where they became friends.

She alleged that Rauf misused their friendship in various ways. “He forced addiction inducing pills, raped and also took naked photographs of the victim,” the mother told the court.

Further narrating her ordeal, she said the accused was now using those photographs to blackmail her daughter and has even extorted enormous sums of money that she obtained from her father’s bank locker.

“The accused threatened the girl with defamation and public humiliation if she did not pay the amount. The girl, therefore, did not disclose the incident to her parents,” explained the lawyer.

But, the girl’s ordeal did not end here.

The court was informed that the girl later disclosed the whole story to her parents after Rauf started demanding that she have sexual intercourse, not only with him but with his friends as well, in order to earn money.

The girl’s mother stated that they approached the Kharadar and Mithadar police to lodge complaints against the accused for blackmailing and harassing them, but the officials did not entertain their plea.

“The respondent is influential, thus the police are not cooperating,” the petitioner’s lawyer explained.

Seeking help

In her plea, the petitioner mentioned that she sent applications to various dignitaries including the provincial home secretary, the police chief and the Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. “None of them got back to the petitioner nor did they pass any directives to the police to help the girl,” the lawyer added.

Therefore, she sought a direction for the home and police authorities to restrain the accused from blackmailing and harassing the girl. The court was also pleaded to order them to take legal action against the alleged rapist and blackmailer.

After the initial hearing, the SHC bench observed that the petitioner was being harassed by the respondents at the behest of Rauf. It further remarked that the respondent was blackmailing the girl and had made her life miserable.

The court issued notices to the respondents to file their comments by the next hearing.

“In the meantime, no harassment is to be caused to the petitioner,” the bench ordered the police. “The SHO is also directed to provide protection to the victim and family members as and when she approaches the police,” it added.

Express Tribune