MIANWALI, May 18: “If I don’t get justice, I will prefer to commit suicide along with my daughters than to live in disgrace,” said the disabled widow, Arshad Bibi, at a press conference here on Sunday organised by Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) local coordinator.
Narrating her ordeal, Arshad Bibi, a resident of Rokhri More, 15 kilometers from here, said her husband Aurangzeb Khan, a landless peasant, died five years ago. The couple had two daughters aged 12 and 6 and an eight-year-old son.
After her husband’s death, Arshad started working as a housemaid to make both ends meet, while her elder daughter would graze sheep and goats.
She alleged that on April 25, Tahir Khan (22), son of an influential land owner, raped her elder daughter S while she was grazing goats at a deserted place. As the girl raised hue and cry, locals started gathering there and the accused fled the scene.
The girl was rushed to the DHQ hospital in critical condition, where she remained admitted for three days. The medico-legal certificate issued by the hospital also confirmed the rape and torture of the girl. On Arshad’s complaint, Mooch police registered a case under section 376 of the PPC against the accused. However, the police failed to arrest him.
The widow said the accused, along with some of his relatives who were armed, came to her house a few days ago and told her to withdraw the case. “He threatened of dire consequence if I refused a compromise,” she said.
DSP concerned Jamat Ali Shah said he did not know details of the case. However, he assured the accused would be brought to the book. The DPO concerned could not be contacted.
Mooch police station SHO Inspector Badar Munir said the `parties’ had an old enmity. The accused, he said, was on bail before arrest till May 26.
HRCP coordinator advocate Khalilur Rehman Khan, who is also providing legal assistance to the widow, said a brother of the accused was a constable working with the DSP concerned. He said she was being denied justice as she was illiterate, disabled and poor.
Prof Ziaullah Khan, head of a local NGO appealed to the Punjab chief minister and IG to provide justice to the victim.