PAKISTAN: Police side with three Muslim men who gang-raped a 13-year-old Christian girl, tortured her family, and caused the deaths of her cousin’s unborn twins

Although the incidents have been registered, police have already declared that one of the three accused, a retired inspector’s son, is innocent in the rape case. In the case for causing two stillbirths, the police are not arresting the accused. What about the one who tortured the family – a slap on the wrist?

Tribune  The rape victim, a 6th grade student, told Civil Judge Mansoor Ahmed Warraich that Irfan, his employee Shahid and an unidentified man had kidnapped her as she walked past Irfan’s house.

She said they drugged her, took her to the fields and raped her. She said she had been unable to cry out as her attackers stuffed some cloth in her mouth. She said that she woke up the next morning still in the fields, roused by family members who had been looking for her since she went missing. She said she had not gone to school since the day of the incident and never wanted to return.

Parveen Bibi, the family matriarch, told The Express Tribune that they had tried to lodge a case first at Domal police chowki, then Saddar police station, Narowal, but the police refused to register an FIR and instead urged the family to reach a settlement with the accused. They refused, and around 10 days later an FIR under Section 376 (rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code was finally registered at the police station.

A medical examination of the victim was conducted and established that she had been raped.

Parveen said that the accused and others then attacked the family to put pressure on them to reach a compromise and withdraw the case. She said on May 8 Irfan, his father Safdar Ali (the retired inspector), Salman Arshad, Asad Ali, Rashid Ali and Muhammad Boota invaded their home and beat up the family. She said women and children were also beaten. As a result of the attack, she said, her daughter-in-law Nosheen gave birth a day later to two stillborn girls.

She said, however, that the police were favouring the accused. She said though a judge had cancelled the bails of some of the accused, the police were not arresting them.

(Adding insult to injury) SI Sarwat Hakeem, the investigation officer in both cases, told The Express Tribune that the 13-year-old girl had gone to the fields with the three accused of her own consent. He said that she had a “friendship” with Shahid and they had fornicated “with her consent” He said the family had not found the girl in the fields; she had gone home on her own. He also dismissed the family’s claim that Nosheen’s unborn baby girls had died due to being beaten.

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