LAHORE: Police Wednesday detained seven people at a private lockup for gang-raping a 20-year-old woman near Liberty Market.
Initial investigations revealed that seven people gang-raped the woman at an apartment and fled leaving the victim inside a car near Liberty Market late Monday. Patrol and rescuers took the Shahdara resident to a hospital, where doctors said she had been battling for life. Two bottles of liquor were also seized from the car.
The Gulberg police on Tuesday registered a gang rape case (FIR No 415/14) against seven unidentified rapists on the complaint of victim. A police officer said the victim was abused at an apartment Monday evening. Sources said that government officials are among the rapists, who belonged to influential families.
The sources said the riders were on way to ‘dump’ the victim when they fled leaving the car ((LED 3053) after they watched a patrol near Maroof Plaza. “Investigations are underway, however, no arrest has been made so far,” Muhammad Anwar, duty officer at the Gulberg police station claimed.
However, in-charge investigation Inspector Muhammad Aslam said that all the seven suspected rapists had been arrested. But he declined to share information. “If we disclose the names of rapists to the media, we will have to produce them in a court of law next morning,” he said, while pressuring this scribe not to report the horrific story. A police source said that five of the seven arrested rapists are being kept at a private cell in Gulberg. “They have been detained but their arrests have not been registered with police.”
The source said that there was a possibility that the police investigators would release the prime suspects after accepting bribe from the influential families and the co-accused would be named in the FIR later. When contacted, Lahore SSP (Investigations) Abdul Rab said information could be gathered from to SP (Investigation) Model Town. The SP was unavailable for his comments.
Police have been calling the victim a ‘call girl’ – a claim her mother rejected as rubbish. She said her daughter was abducted at gunpoint when she was on way back from a market. Police sources also cited date rape drug factor in the case. “The seven savage were boozed. The victim was also drugged,” said a police official, who is familiar with the case.
The mother of victim told reporters she they came to know about their daughter after receiving an anonymous call late Monday. “We rushed to Jinnah Hospital where my daughter is has been battling for life,” she said.
A prosecutor said on anonymity said that in this case the chances are slim that the criminals would be brought to justice because the police would blackmail the victim to force her to reconcile with the rapists. “Look, even at this preliminary stage the investigators are portraying the victim as a call girl. This is a very serious charge and it would help the criminals flee rigorous punishment,” he commented.
The Punjab police revealed in its annual report that there had been one gang-rape incident after every 45 hours and 38 minutes break in the province in 2013. Out of 2576 rape incidents reported last year, the victims in 167 cases were children.
Police also reported 193 cases of gang rape from January to December 2013. Among the gang-rape victims 13 were children. Lahore district topped the province in the number of gang-rape incidents with 51 cases reported in 2013 as compared to 40 such cases registered in 2012. Investigators declared two gang-rape cases as untraceable while 25 cases are still under investigations, with the prime suspects still at large.