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Inquiry committee fails to submit report in stipulated time

By: Akhtar Amin

PESHAWAR: The inquiry committee formed by the chief minister to probe the case of a teenage girl reportedly kidnapped a year ago and repeatedly raped by several persons, including policemen, has failed to submit its report in the stipulated time.

The committee is working at a snail’s pace while the girl, Uzma Ayub, is pleading that her life is in danger and is seeking timely justice. On October 5, Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti directed the inquiry committee headed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home secretary and having the AIG Police Investigation and Kohat commissioner as members to submit its findings to the government within a week. But the committee took nine days to just record the statement of Uzma Ayub and her brother Alamzeb.

Sources told The News here on Sunday that the committee did complete the identification process on October 14. On the occasion, Uzma Ayub accused Station House Officers Pir Mohsin Shah and Amir Khan and Sub-Inspector Hakeem of arresting her. She also identified the other accused including Nazar Khan, Karim and Dr Iqbal.

The sources said Naseebullah, who is serving in the army and is the main accused in the case, did not appear before the inquiry committee. Uzma Ayub informed the committee that there were some injury marks on the body of Sub-Inspector Hakeem, who according to her was one of the rapists. The committee also collected information from the accused and recorded their statements.

The police officers in their defence alleged that Uzma Ayub’s brother was also involved in some cases. In reply, her brother Alamzeb presented the record of these cases and said he was charged in only one case in 2005 when one of his relatives implicated him. He stressed that he was acquitted in the case after 18 months.

Alamzeb reminded that when he along with his mother raised voice against the injustice with his sister, the police in 2010 implicated him in a mobile phone theft case and also in the case of an untraceable vehicle in Kohat. He said the police were still victimising his family for going public with the complaint against the cops. He said that those who helped their family were also being implicated in false cases.

Alamzeb claimed that the police implicated their lawyer Afsar Khan in false cases for helping their family and filing an application under Section 22A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against the accused in the kidnapping and rape case of his sister. He said the police also tortured their lawyer Afsar Khan mentally, physically and financially. After immense pressure, he said, the lawyer abandoned the case.

It may be added that the Child Welfare & Protection Commission and CSO members from Shirkat Gah, Blue Veins, NET, SPARC, Aurat Foundation, ABKT, Khwendo Kor and CRSD are providing legal aid to Uzma Ayub and her family.

These organisations held an emergency meeting when the news of Uzma Ayub’s plight appeared in the media and decided to independently probe the incident. The Child Welfare & Protection Commission and CSO members’ inquiry report also revealed that Uzma Ayub was innocent and had been wronged.

It demanded exemplary punishment to all the accused in the case. It is now up to the government to ensure that the inquiry committee formed by the chief minister completes its work and justice is delivered to Uzma Ayub and her family.

Source: The News