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Under duress?: Suspects get bail after rape victim retracts statement

Under duress?: Suspects get bail after rape victim retracts statement

KALLAR SYEDAN: A lower court has accepted bail plea of five suspects in a gang rape case after the victim retracted her statement taking charges against the suspects.

Additional Sessions judge Irfan Saeed has accepted the bail plea of the five suspects and ordered police to release them.

Earlier the victim (*G) along with her brother-in-law deposed before the judge that the suspects were not those who gang raped her. She further said that she neither knew them nor wanted to pursue case against them.

The poor woman, a resident of Samot town, located about 50km (31 miles) south-east of Islamabad, said she had no objection if the court wants to release them on bail.

The victim had filed a report with the Kallar Syedan police station that five persons kidnapped her at gunpoint on Aug 19 from outside a local hospital.

Narrating her ordeal, she said that one of the suspects (*B) who was standing outside the hospital intercepted her. In the meantime four of his armed accomplices came out of bushes, dragged her to a nearby forest and gang raped her. The woman said her husband works at a bricks kiln in Gujrat district of central Punjab.

The police registered on August 21 the FIR of the incident under section 376 Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) on the complaint of the brother-in-law of the victim and arrested the five nominated persons.

According to sources in the police department, the suspects also made video clippings of their crime and threatened the woman that they will make it public if she reported to the police.

According to the investigation officer Nazar Muhammad, the FIR was registered after medical examination of the victim. When asked about the victim’s retraction from her earlier statement in the court, he said police have no doubt about the involvement of the five nominated persons in the incident as they had already confessed to their crime. The mobile phone data of the five suspects have been sent to the forensic laboratory and also waiting for the DNA test report.

According to sources, the woman has retracted her statement under duress as she was under immense pressure from a local jirga.

*Names withheld to protect identity

The Express Tribune

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