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Gang-rape of five girls proved

By: Ashraf Javed

LAHORE – Sheikhupura Regional Police Officer (RPO) Zulfikar Ahmed Cheema has revealed that the five victims of a gang-rape have identified the culprits during the ‘identification-parade’, while all the required evidences have also been collected to bring the criminals to justice.

“The DNA test of the accused has also proved that the same criminals had assaulted the five girls,” the DIG told reporters on Monday. The police did not leave any stone unturned to ensure justice in this case, said the DIG, who is personally supervising the investigations of the case.

In November last year, some influential men in the limits of Narangmandi police in the Sheikhupura district had raped five girls including daughter and nieces of a poor worker.

On this occasion, the parents of the girls expressed their reservations stating that the criminals were influential and well-off in the area and some quarters were backing the rapists. The regional police officer warned that the police would also ensure strict action against the supporters and backers of the criminals, no matter how powerful and influential they are. “Let me clear, the elements found involved in backing the rapists would also be arrested and punished as per law. The police will utilise all the resources and energies to ensure rigorous punishment to the culprits,” Zulfikar Cheema warned.

The RPO also informed that the police had completed the investigations in professional way by using scientific methods as well and the services of senior lawyers are also hired to pursue the case in the court of law to get the rapists punished.

The police officer hoped that following the pattern of lawyers’ community in New Delhi in India, the legal fraternity would never represent the rapists. In India, the lawyers unanimously refused to represent the accused, who had gang-raped a girl in the moving bus, prompting countrywide protests.

According to a press statement issued on Monday, Sheikhupura District Bar President Rana Saif Ullah and General Secretary Tahir Shehzad announced their support for the victim girls. They also said that they would represent the innocent girls rather than the criminals in the court.

Various civil society organisations and political activists have also announced their support for the poor girls. The parents of the girls appreciated the police team which carried out raids and arrested the culprits in days. According to Sheikhupura district police officer, Rana Abdul Jabber, all the eight accused had been sent to the jail after proper investigations. The accused were identified as Sajjad alias Shahzad, Tassaddaq alias Mara, Aqeel Atif, Nawaz alias Noori, Ali Raza, Mohsin Raza, Nawaz alias Lala, and Zaheer Ahmed.

The Narangmandi police had registered the case (FIR No 534/12 under section 376/B and 365/B of the PPC) against eight nominated accused. The court had ordered the medical examination of the ill-fated girls.

Reportedly, influential landlords Mara Jutt and Zaheer Jutt along with their accomplices had tied Muhammad Boota and his wife with ropes. They abducted and ultimately gang-raped the daughter and four nieces of the poor labourer on November 23, 2012.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had visited the house of the victim girls in Muridke and announced that he would ensure that rigorous punishment was given to the culprits involved in gang-raping five innocent girls. Meanwhile, according to the police sources a detailed report has already been sent to the chief minister.

The Nation