By: FIDA HUSSNAIN
LAHORE – The victim of an alleged gang rape case in Lahore yesterday identified a PML-N youth wing leader as the sole culprit.
Adnan Sanaullah is one of eight young men remanded in further custody on Wednesday, following their arrest last month for the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl in a Mall Road guesthouse.
But in a dramatic twist, the victim told a local court that Sanaullah drugged and raped her amid the presence of a co-accused in the hotel room.
The teenage girl, an 8th grade student, had earlier told the police that a PML-N youth wing member and his accomplices kidnapped her from Multan Road and forced her to drink some intoxicated liquid after which she lost consciousness.
The case has attracted wide attention because of the alleged involvement of Adnan Sanaullah, believed to be a close aide of Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashhood Ahmad, and wider concerns of a culture of impunity among young members of the political and business elites.
Sanaullah, Abdul Majid, Muhammad Umer, Ameer Ahmad, Haris, Bilawal, Qamar Zaman and Khalid were arrested on December 26 on charges of rape and conspiracy.
The girl also told the court that she had already known the main accused and had agreed to meet him in secret at a guest house after he promised her a birthday gift.
“He gave me wine (alcohol) without telling me and then raped me.
There was a man named Majid in the room but he did not touch me.
“I was threatened by Sanaullah for not breaking silence,” the court heard.
On the other hand, police sources believe she was gang raped and left unconscious in Star Guest House on Mall Road.
Her family learned of the assault when one of the alleged rapists sent a text message from his cellphone, sources told The Nation.
The message read: “Your daughter is lying unconscious in Room 230 of a hotel on The Mall.”
The family and police searched a number of hotels in the area before they found her unconscious.
She was rushed to the Services Hospital where she is still under treatment but her condition is stable.
Initial medical tests revealed she had been assaulted.
DNA tests of the eight men and the survivor were conducted by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency.
On the complaint of the survivor’s mother, the police registered a case and arrested all eight suspects along with the hotel manager.
The hotel facility has since been sealed.
According to the mother, the girl was on her way to a tailor’s shop with her brother when some unidentified men bundled her into a car and drove away.
Whereas the suspects deny the allegations and claim they are being held illegally in custody.