By: Kashif Zafar
BAHAWALPUR: Two Hindu women were raped by a landlord and his accomplices on Friday night. “We will kill ourselves in front of the district police officer’s office if we are not given justice,” the women said to media people in front of the DPO’s office on Saturday.
Sanam Mai*, a resident of Chak 99-DB near Bahawalpur, said that she was married to Ajmal Ram. They had had a domestic rift and she had moved to her parents’ house in the same village. She said her husband and his friend Arjun Ram had approached a landlord of the area to settle things between them.
The landlord had told Ajmal to bring his wife and children to the Government Veterinary Dispensary in Chanan Pir. Sanam Mai said that her husband and his father visited her at her parents’ house and requested her to go with them but she refused. The landlord then went to her house to pick her up on his car so “he could help resolve the differences between the couple”. He said her husband and father-in-law were waiting for them at the dispensary. She said she and her cousin Jiya Mai got into the car. She said the landlord told her to leave her children, a four-year-old daughter and a three-month-old son, home.
Sanam Mai said she realised that the landlord was not driving towards Chanan Pir but towards the desert and started screaming for help. She said the landlord and his accomplices took them into the desert and raped them at gunpoint and left them there. She said they had threatened her and her cousin with death if they dared tell anyone about this.
Sanam Mai said she went to the DPO’s office on Saturday and told him about the incident. She also said that the landlord was very influential in the area and the police had cut a deal with him which was why she hadn’t gone to the police earlier.
The DPO assured her that they would investigate the matter on merit and take strict action if warranted.
The women requested the chief minister, Bahawalpur regional police officer and the DPO to arrest the culprits on priority. They said they would commit suicide if justice was not done. *Names of the victims have been changed to protect identity