LAHORE: The Punjab government has authorised a woman magistrate to record the statement of the gang rape victim after she attempted suicide on Saturday over ‘undue interrogation’.
“The government has authorised a woman magistrate to record the statement of the girl so that she does not feel uncomfortable,” an official said.
A source, however, told Dawn that the government had taken the decision on reports that the 15-year-old was reluctant to record her statement before a male magistrate.
Victim’s brother-in-law Zain told this reporter the family was about to go to sleep at night when she jumped from the terrace of her house. She suffered minor injuries and was taken to the Services Hospital where some hours after treatment she was sent back home.
He said the girl had been under duress from the police interrogation, where the officials allegedly harassed her with all kinds of questions. “She is a child and you can imagine what kind of questions they ask,” he said
Earlier, the class-VIII student was kidnapped outside her house and gang-raped allegedly by eight men in a hotel on The Mall.
Police had registered a case against suspects Abdul Majid, Umer, Ameer, Haris, Bilawal, Zaman, Imran and PML-N Youth Wing Additional Secretary General Mian Adnan under sections 376 and 506 of the PPC on the complaint of the victim’s mother.
Police later added abduction sections against the eight suspects who were arrested.
SSP (Investigation) Hasan Mushtaq Sukhera said no one had pressurised the girl and her counsel submitted an application to the magistrate that she could not record her statement.
He said a three-member inquiry team including Punjab AIG (Special Branch Faisal Shahkar, DCO Muhammad Usman and DIG (Investigation) Chaudhry Sultan, was constituted to probe the gang rape incident.
He said the Punjab government had also constituted a four-member senior doctors team to conducted medical examination of the girl and suspects.
He said police had yet to receive DNA reports of all the suspects and the girl, adding the Punjab Forensic Science Agency had dispatched the reports on Friday.