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New police stance adds twist to Gambat case

KARACHI: Amid growing speculation and reports that blamed the Gambat police for forcing a man and two women to walk naked on roads as a punishment, the Sindh police on Thursday conceded that the crime was committed by a station house officer to settle an old score.

The SHO and other police personnel involved in the incident had been suspended and arrested, with a formal investigation initiated into the matter, said a spokesman for the Sindh police.

“The arrested and suspended police officials include Gambat SHO Sub-Inspector Khair Mohammad Junejo, ASI Rahim Bux Jamro, Ameer Ali Shar, Ghulam Akbar Khaskheli, Constable Ghulam Raza and Abdul Latif.”

All the six officials were shifted to a prison after an additional session’s judge, a senior civil judge and a civil judge of Gambat during a visit to the judicial lock-up on Wednesday morning found them in a relaxed and upbeat mood. The additional session’s judge directed the police to shift them to Khairpur prison.

The six policemen were booked in an FIR under Sections 220 (commitment for trial or confinement by person having authority who knows that he is acting contrary to law), 354-A (assault or use of criminal force to woman and stripping her of her clothes), 500 (defamation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the FIR, they raided an Autaq (guest house) in Mirbahar Mohallah of Gambat town on July 28 and arrested two women and a man. They forced the three individuals to strip and took them to the police station.

The fresh statement of the Sindh police contradicted the earlier stance of the area police who claimed to have arrested the two women and the man of a prostitution ring and denied charges levelled against them in the media reports.

“The Gambat police have got 14-day physical remand of all the suspects and the case is being investigated in the light of evidence,” said the police spokesman. The spokesman, however, did not give any reason or rational behind the sudden change and shift in the viewpoint.