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Rape victim’ gives birth as court battle continues

PESHAWAR: An alleged gang rape victim engaged in a legal battle for justice against around a dozen people, including policemen, gave birth to a baby girl at Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) late on Thursday.

A source in the girl`s family said both the mother and child were well.

He said samples of the newborn`s blood were taken for DNA test in line with the Peshawar High Court orders.

The court had ordered policemen investigating the case to know the baby`s parentage by DNA test.

As the newborn is the prime evidence in the case, police have deployed personnel in large numbers at HMC for her and her mother`s safety on the court orders.

As claimed by the girl before a magistrate, she fled the custody of her alleged abusers in September last year almost a year after her kidnapping.

Later, her brother, Alamzeb, who pursued her case in the court of law, was killed near a court in Takhte Nusrati tehsil of Karak district.

The girl charged around a dozen people, including some policemen, with sexually assaulting her for around a year.

Soon after birth, the baby girl was taken away by representatives of a group formed by members of civil society and some government organisations for the alleged rape victim.

One of its members told Dawn that the group, which had been pursuing the girl`s case besides supporting her family, was told by the girl that she didn`t want to keepthe baby as she was herself too young and had to continue her studies.She said as the baby was the prime evidence in the case, the group considered it appropriate to keep her at a safe place before taking it away without letting anyone know.

She, however, said when the girl claimed that the baby had been taken away against her will and that she wanted to keep her, the baby was given back to her in the presence of DIG (investigation) Mohammad Idrees Khan, who has been supervising the probe into the alleged rape case.

Chief Justice Peshawar High Court Dost Mohammad Khan took notice of the media reports about the baby`s disappearance and directed the provincial home and health secretaries, provincial police officer, provincial government and medical superintendent of HMC to look into the matter.

The chief justice deputed an additional district and sessions judge and a female judicial officer to visit the complainant/victim and forward a comprehensive report to the high court.

On the court orders, the government has already allotted a residential quarter in Peshawar to the girl`s family, where they shifted two days ago.

Of late, the court transferred both the cases, one about the alleged kidnapping and rape of the girl and second about her brother`s killing, to an anti-terrorism court in Peshawar from that of Karak for security reasons.

By: Dawn