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IO turns hostile in gang-rape case

By Ishaq Tanoli

KARACHI: The investigation officer of the Kainat Soomro gang-rape case on Tuesday turned hostile during his cross-examination conducted by the defence before a sessions court.

Four accused — Shaban Sheikh, Sheikh Ahsan, Roshan Aleem and Kaleemullah — have been charged with kidnapping teenage Kainat Soomro in Jan 2007 in her native village in Dadu district and subjecting her to gang-rape.

The investigation officer, Ghulam Sarwar Panwhar, appeared before VIIth Additional District and Sessions Judge (south) Nizar Ali Khawaja on Tuesday and defence counsel Waqar Shah resumed the cross-examination.

During the cross-examination, the IO stated that he recorded the testimonies of witnesses under Section 161 of the criminal procedure code, but none of them said that it was a gang-rape case.

Hearing this, the public prosecutor requested the court to declare the witness hostile, since he had deliberately deviated from his pervious stance in order to favour the accused and dent the prosecution’s case.

While declaring the witness hostile, the court adjourned the hearing till Aug 28 to record the statements of the accused.

According to the prosecution, the accused had kidnapped Kainat Soomro on Jan 10, 2007 from her native village Mehar, detained her for three days and subjected her to gang-rape several times. Later, the police arrested all the accused for their alleged involvement in the case.

A case (FIR 22/2007) was registered against the accused under Section 10(4), the Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, and Sections 363, 344, 365-B, 337-J and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Mehar police station on the complaint of the victim’s father. Later, section 10(4) of the Hudood Ordinance was replaced with Section 376(2) of the PPC.

Initially, the case was tried in the sessions court of Dadu. However, the Sindh High Court transferred the case to a sessions court in Karachi on the request of the victim’s father.
Source: Dawn

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