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Girl says her rapists had police links

Fourteen-year-old ‘S’ is still in shock. Her eyes are scarred with pain and terror as she sits demurely on the edge of her sofa and tells the story of how she was raped by Dawood, Ghous and Inspector Cheema (with support from the police, S said).

She lives in Gulistan-e-Jauhar, opposite the area police station. Her house has a single entrance, which acts as the main gate for her and Ghous’ houses. The latter lives with his wife, Sobia, and brother-in-law, David. A single wall (not completely closed) separates the two houses, so they have complete privacy.

“Ghous and his sister approached me with David’s proposal,” S’ father, Albeen, said. “I refused, because she was already engaged to someone else. They went back home, angry at my refusal.”

A few days later, S was standing at the main gate, waiting for her niece whom she had sent to the market, when she saw a car parked right in front of her house.

In the tight, constricted lanes of the settlement of Bakhtawar Goth, the car parked in S’ lane was too close to her house, and she could clearly see David, and Ghous, along with two other men in the car. All of a sudden she felt herself pushed towards the car, S said, adding that Sobia had pushed her.

“David opened the car door, grabbed me, sprinkled something on me, and next when I opened my eyes, I was lying on a mattress, in a room which I had not seen ever before in my life,” she said, her eyes flashing in remembrance, and with the fear she had experienced at that time.

Over the next two to three days, S was continuously raped by the three men. David was not present. He had simply kidnapped her and left her there. Her captors not only tortured her physically by beating her with a stick all over her body, and gang-raping her, but they also subjected her to mental and psychological torture and forced her to make official statements under duress.

“The police officer, Cheema, told me that they would take me to the police and I had to state that I ran away from home and this was entirely my decision,” she says.

According to sources who wish to remain anonymous, for the next few days that S remained captive, the police apparently had the information, because the relations between these men suggest that they all knew each other, and that they had links with the police. For example, the Investigation Officer (Bashir) from the Gulistan-e-Jauhar Police Station had extended his support to the three rapists. This was clear to S as they had continually threatened her with dire consequences of murdering her, and her family, and had on various occasions freely taken the name of the officer in front of her to pressurise her.

Later, it was also revealed that S knew Cheema, because her brother and Ghous who were both plumbers, had often worked at his house.

“As they were in front of me, they kept referring to some police officer called Bashir,” S says. “They asked him for advice, and they kept updating him with information about me. At the same time, Cheema kept telling me that he was a policeman at the Central Police Office and if I told the truth at the station in my FIR, he would wipe out my entire family. It has scared me to the extent that I gave an untrue statement at the station under pressure.”

Further investigation however has revealed that Cheema was actually stationed somewhere in Malir in the Madadgar branch. A strange coincidence is that S’ father has received three phone calls from separate numbers, and in one of them, a man said he was calling from Malir 15, and that if S decided to change her statement she and her entire family will be killed. In another call, the man identified himself as Maqbool.

It is also on record that Ghous who was nominated in the FIR, has now been released by the police, although he should have been held under police custody, whereas, Inspector Cheema, was not nominated at all. Only Dawood who was in the FIR has been sent to jail.

The SHO of Gulsitan-e-Jauhar, Barakallah, told The News, “I do not think there has been a gang-rape. Although I do not have the official authority on the issue anymore, as it is now a matter for the investigation wing, and now only IO Bashir is handling the case, I feel that the girl ran away from home, and she is only making up a story to escape the problem.”

According to Barakallah the girl was a prostitute, and her father ran the business. He could, however, not clarify the involvement of Cheema or Bashir, as police officers in the rape, nor could he prove the motive of a ‘prostitute’ to confront the police and create a situation where only she herself would end up in trouble.

At present the case has been filed in the Family Court, under Civil Majistrate Pervez-ul-Qadir Memon, under Section 164 Cr.P.C. S has also been proved by the Medico-Legal Report (Civil Hospital Karachi) to have lost her virginity. The police, however, took her to the hospital three days after the incident, and the ML Report could not be precise. Also S says that her rapists were clever enough to wash her clothes and remove all signs of rape which could be medically detected.
Source: The News
Date:6/11/2008

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