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Karachi social worker raped; policemen applying ‘pressure’

A H Khanzada and Aroosa Masroor
KARACHI, September 25 2005: A Karachi-based social worker, 35 year old Rubina Naz, who was allegedly raped on Thursday September 22 night by three men, all policemen, says that she is being pressurized to withdraw her complaint and now fears for the safety of her children.

For its part, the police has arrested two of the accused, which include one policeman, Rubina Naz has appealed to the President and “all official quarters” to save her life from being a living hell as she fears that her alleged rapists will now target her children to “teach her a lesson” for reporting the crime.

Naz says that despite the fact that she completed all the legal formalities in reporting her rape, she fears that the medical report of the case may be changed owing to pressure or money being exchanged.

She said that her lawyer, Fateh Mohammad Jatoi, was the main force in guiding her as to what needs to be done to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice. “It seems all other doors were closed on me and this is one person who helped lessen the trauma a rape victim goes through in trying to get a case registered.”

Naz’s problem is that one of the three persons who allegedly raped her is her brother in law and another brother in law stood guard as the dastardly deed was being done at a house in Ancholi, near Sohrab Goth.

SSP Investigation Zone 3, Mir Zubair, told The News that the rape has been established although further matching needs to be done to determine the identity of the rapists. Two of the accused, both brother in laws of Naz are now in police custody. One is Minhaj, who is a constable with the police and works as a cook. The other is Nadeem. In addition, two unidentified policemen, who are also involved in the rape, are at large. Naz says that it is these two who are now threatening her life and issuing her threats.

Naz’s troubles started when she got involved in trying to solve two family disputes. One involved her brother in law Nadeem, who had taken money and a mobile phone from another sister’s son, Ahmad, and was refusing to return this.

The other brother in law, Minhaj, who is a police constable, had taken over a house belonging to Rubina Naz’s mother, also Minhaj’s mother in law, in another locality. Minhaj not only refused to vacate the house but also started construction on the house and told neighbours that he owned it.

Using her position as a family elder, Rubina Naz jumped into the fray, but with disastrous consequences. After her constant pestering, the two brothers in law ganged up and hatched a plan to teach the young woman a lesson. To accompany these two were another two – both of them policemen. This foursome invited Rubina Naz to a house for “discussions” and drugged her tea which she drank and numbed her senses.

When asked why she went along to meet the two, Rubina Naz said that as a family elder she had gone to settle a minor family dispute. “I could not even think that these two young men who are like my younger brothers and who I have known through thick and thin would do such an act,” she said as tears streamed down her face.

Following this, Rubina Naz was brutally assaulted by three men while a fourth stood guard. Rubina says that she feared that the next step of these men would be to kill her and dump her body. Sensing this, the petrified woman begged for mercy and said that she would tell no one of the incident.

It was then on Friday morning that Nadeem, who had stood guard while the rape took place, dropped Rubina to her house in Gulistan-e-Jauhar. Upon gathering her senses, Rubina then went to the police to report the crime, as instructed by her lawyer, who serves as a legal advisor to the organization that Rubina Naz works for. But that was itself a traumatic incident as she had to go from one police station to another to get the case registered as each police station said that it was outside her jurisdiction. Finally, the case was registered in Samnabad police station.

After the FIR was registered, Rubina Naz went to a hospital for treatment. The news of the rape was leaked from the hospital and Rubina was then approached by the media, which in effect blew her cover and her promise to remain silent.

Rubina fears the intentions of the two policemen who are at large and has begged the government for ensuring her safety. She says that she is getting threatening phone calls and she fears for the safety of her children.

Rubina heads a local human rights and women rights organization. She is also involved in educational and welfare activities. Traumatized and fearful for the life of her children, Rubina Naz says that she will commit suicide if the government tries to hush up the incident or drag its feet on finding the two missing policemen. So far, no government official has offered any help or solace. Little did she know that one day she would be experiencing the same crime which she has been helping others to fight.

Source: The News