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Woman says she was raped at mazar

KARACHI, March 18: An 18-year-old woman was raped after being kidnapped from the premises of Mazar-i-Quaid on the night of March 15, police said quoting the victim.

She was found in a semi-conscious state at the main gate of the Mazar in the small hours of Monday morning.

A resident of Lodhran in Punjab, she had come to the city after visiting the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan with her husband and father along with others. The group was travelling in two cars, the police said.

After a frantic search following her disappearance from the mausoleum, the girl’s father, Bashir Ahmed, lodged an FIR (50/2008) under Section 365/B of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Brigade police station on the night of her disappearance.

Stating the facts in the FIR, the girl’s father said that they arrived at the mausoleum on the night of March 15 and parked the vehicle outside the premises. He narrated in the FIR how his daughter went missing. He further stated in the FIR that he suspected that the museum staff or other relevant staff was involved in the kidnapping of his daughter “with the intent to commit a rape”.

The SSP investigation, South, Niaz Ahmed Khoso, told Dawn that police had sealed a room in the museum of the mazar and had seized the clothing found in the room.

Citing dubious credentials of the chemical lab, the SSP said that he would send the piece of evidence for a DNA profile instead of sending it to the Chemical Examiner office.

Quoting the girl’s father and husband, the police officer said the group of pilgrims comprised around 50 people.

After reaching the mazar, the couple ran out of money for the tickets required to visit the museum. So they stood outside. Fayyaz Husain, the girl’s husband, asked his wife to wait for him as he went outside the mazar to bring money from the remaining group members, who were sitting in their vehicles.

On his return, he found his wife missing. He went to the stairs to see if her slippers were missing but found them lying there.

After their futile search, the group members went to a nearby Imambargah because they did not have a place in the city to spend the night. They also lodged an FIR at the brigade police station.

Quoting the victim, the SSP investigation told Dawn that two men kidnapped her at gunpoint and about five men subjected her to rape. She said she could identify the two men who kidnapped her, the SSP said.He said he had asked the resident engineer of the mazaar, who supervises 250 men, and a retired major in charge of the 70 security guards to produce their men for an identification parade. However, the SSP was of the opinion that it was not necessary that the woman was raped at the place she was pointing out because she also she spoke of using a washroom, which was not at the suspected crime scene. He attributed her disorientation to a heavy dose of sedatives administered to her allegedly by the kidnappers.

Medico-legal officer Dr Rohina Hasan, who examined the young victim, told Dawn that the rape victim had married three months back.

Citing the victim’s condition, Dr Hasan said she was not well and couldn’t walk properly. Quoting the husband who was accompanying his wife for the examination, Dr Hasan said that after coming to the city from Sehwan they thought that they should visit the Mazar-i-Quaid.

The victim told the doctor she was very thirsty when someone offered her water. After consuming the water she fell unconscious. At some point of time during her kidnapping she felt as if she was travelling. Sharing some initial findings, Dr Hasan said her clothes were torn and her pupils dilated, as if she had been administrated opiates.

“Her clothing and blood samples have been sealed and sent for a chemical examination,” the doctor said. However, the doctor said she could not say with certainty at this point if the victim was raped because she had been married three months back.

There were no marks of resistance because the victim was heavily intoxicated, she said.

“I will hold the medico-legal report till the receipt of a chemical and histopathological report,” Dr Hasan said.

Meanwhile, the resident engineer of the Quaid-i-Azam Mazar Management Board, Mohammad Arif, told Dawn that an inquiry into the matter had been launched. However, he said that none of the staff member was missing.

“The Rangers posted outside the Mazar found a girl at the Numaish gate of the Mazar at around 4am on Monday,” the resident engineer said.

He added that some six to eight months back a woman had lodged a complaint at the Brigade police station that security guards had torn her clothes, but eventually the case turned out to be false.
Source: Dawn