By: SOHAIL KHAN
BAHAWALNAGAR: The DSP Haroonabad along with seven other accused gang raped two sisters on January 24 and got the matter hushed up as both the victim girls belong to humble background.
Talking to the media both the girls – Khursheed Bibi w/o Ghulam Mustafa and her sister Ayesha, residents of Riaz Colony Haroonabad narrated that they were standing at a chowk near to their home and wanted to go to Bahawalnagar on January 24, when one Mehdi Gujjar took them forcibly to his factory. There in the factory Mehdi Gujjar, Haroonabad DSP Malik Rafique, Chaudhry Sabir, Malik Afzal and their two unidentified accomplices allegedly sexually assaulted both the sisters under the influence of liquor. The girls informed that when they begged for mercy, the DSP took them to his vehicle, saying that he would drop them at their residence in Riaz colony. But instead the ‘drunk’ DSP took both the sisters to his residence at Wapda Scarp Colony where he tortured them and again sexually assaulted.
The girls claimed that in the meanwhile they got an opportunity and managed to escape and hide in the nearby fields. Later they made a call on the police emergency number 15. Following the call Sub-Inspector Akbar Bhatti reached the spot and took both the girls to the Haroonabad City Police Station. However, after listening to the girls, City Police SHO Ehsan Cheema told them to contact the Faqirwali Police as the area where the incident occurred did not fall in his purview. Later, both the girls were shifted to Faqirwali Police Station. However, Faqirwali SHO Abbas Shah was absent and the girls were taken to the SHO’s residence. They were kept there for the whole night and where provided with medical aid through a doctor.
Later the police pressurized both the girls to reconcile. According to the girls, the police also threatened them with dire consequences if they (girls) inform anybody about the rapist police officer. Later, the police threw them away from the police station with the warning to keep mum in the future. However, when the police did not pay heed to their cries for justice for several days, the victim girls approached the media on Saturday.
Both the girls appealed to Punjab Chief Minister to take notice of the barbarism acted by the DSP and his accomplices and give him exemplary punishment. They also demanded protection of life.
When contacted Haroonabad DSP Malik Rafique shrugged off the allegations, saying that it was ‘a bid to malign him. He said that it was fake incident and ‘girls were blackmailers.’
Meanwhile, Bahawalnagar DPO Athar Ismail claimed that he was ignorant to any such incident while nobody had approached him with any such complaint. He vowed that he would take a stern action against anyone “be that the DSP” if someone lodge a complaint with him.
However, Haroonabad City Police SHO Ehsan Cheema admitted to have received emergency call on the night of the incident.
On the other hand, while commenting on the incident, former deputy opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Shaukat Mehmood Basra regretted over the shameful role of the police officer. He demanded that a high investigation should be conducted into the incident and exemplary punishment should be given to whosoever found guilty. He declared that the Punjab police performance had exposed the ‘Khadim-e-a’ala’s’ good governance claims.