By Irfan Mughal
DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A central character of the famous incident of flogging of a girl in Swat in the days preceding the military operation there is in the custody of an intelligence agency, according to officials.
The man, who had allegedly flogged the girl in public, was arrested here a few days ago, along with eight other people. They were planning to go to Karachi via Dera Ismail Khan.
The officials said that during interrogation one of the detainees, identified as Mohammad Ilyas alias Chhota Aftab, had confessed to having flogged the girl in public.
The suspects were taken to Peshawar and are in the custody of a security agency.
The video footage of the incident which surfaced on April 2 had taken the entire country by storm and drawn widespread condemnation.
Throughout the two-minute footage, the 17-reay-old girl was screaming out of pain and praying for mercy, but the man continued his job and stopped only after completing the “sentence” of lashing her 34 times.
Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and then Tehrik-i-Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan had claimed that the incident had taken place before the signing of a peace agreement between the government and Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat Muhammadi of Maulana Sufi Mohammad on Feb 16.
But leaders of several political parties, veteran nationalist leader Afzal Khan Lala among them, said the incident had occurred after the peace deal.