LAHORE: Supreme Court Bar Association President Asma Jahangir has said incidents of violence against women are increasing in Pakistan as the police, despite protecting victims, are found favouring the accused.
Speaking in the context of an incident wherein a girl was kidnapped, raped and burnt by throwing acid on her face, she accused the Kahna police of protecting the accused.
She told a news conference on Tuesday that family members of the victim, who were also present at the news conference, alleged that Ashraf Meo along with two accomplices kidnapped their girl, raped her and threw acid on her face. To avoid police action, he forced her to put her thumb impression on a fake nikahnama (marriage deed).
Girl’s mother Jijan Bibi said the accused with the help of Anayat Ali and Sharif kidnapped her daughter from their quarter in Gajumata on Jan 16 last and kept her at some unidentified place for three days.
She said they recovered the girl with the help of the police. The police arrested the accused, but released them after taking bribe, she alleged.
She said the accused and the police did not let them take their daughter to hospital for one week in a bid to avoid any police action. She alleged now the Kahna police were forcing them for a patch-up with the accused.
Ms Jahangir, condemning the incident, said the police always supported the accused in cases against women and forced the victims to compromise with the accused. She said this practice encouraged the accused and became the main reason for an increase in such incidents.
She said only a legislation was not enough but implementation of laws was real service to the people. She said the poor were the true nation and the government must protect their rights.
POLICE VERSION: Kahna circle DSP Khalid Mateen said main accused Ashraf was on physical remand with the police while two others nominated in the FIR were cleared in the investigation.
He said the arrested suspect had confessed to throwing acid on the girl. He said the girl willingly left her home with Ashraf a couple of days before the incident and stayed at the place of suspect’s friend, a tractor-trolley driver.
The DSP said the two other accused nominated in the case were father and son who transported the victim to a hospital after the incident.
Rejecting allegations leveled by the victim’s mother, he claimed that the case was being investigated on merit.
He said the victim’s parents reacted only at the time of the incident (throwing acid) as they did not take notice of their daughter’s absence from home seriously.