One week on, police fail to nab alleged rapists – 13 Feb 2023


Almost a week after the horrific incident of rape of a 24-year-old girl at the capital’s Fatima Jinnah Park, investigators seem to grope in the dark to trace the alleged rapists due to ‘poor CCTV footage’ and lack of ‘clear-enough’ clues.

According to sources, the incident has put a question mark on the viability of the multi-billion rupee safe city project and the much-trumpeted claims of a `safe city’ by Islamabad Capital Territory Police.

The incident took place on February 2 wherein the victim claimed that she was visiting the Fatima Jinnah Pak also known as F-9 Park along with a male companion when she was raped by armed men at gunpoint.

Sources said the capital police have failed to trace the alleged rapists despite claiming to have installed sophisticated cameras at every nook and corner under the Islamabad Safe City Project.

They also revealed that the Safe City cameras installed in the proximity of the crime scene do not have the capability of night vision, which is the reason why the probe was going ahead at a snail’s pace.

The footage obtained, they said, is so substandard that the faces of the visitors are not clear.

However, the investigators have sought the data of suspects nominated in rape cases registered in the police stations of the twin cities in one year.

Police sources told The Express Tribune that Islamabad Inspector General of Police Dr Akbar Nasir Khan has once again issued instructions to the investigation wing of the capital police to trace the accused at any cost using advanced investigative methods instead of traditional ones.

The IG has also ordered to analyse the data obtained through geo-fencing on an urgent basis, the sources said adding that the scope of investi-gation of phone numbers found during geo-fencing has been widened and now the process will take few more days.

So far, the investigation wing has completed the process of scrutinising the footage of the Safe City cameras, obtained not just on the day of the incident but also of the entire week, they said.

Police sources further said despite the efforts of the investigation wing, the investigators are unable to make a breakthrough and now it has become a test case for the detectives of the capital police.

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Man booked for assault – 13 Feb 2023

ATTOCK: A man was booked for thrashing and injuring his sister-in-law over children quarrel in Pind Mallhi village within the limits of Hassanabdal Police station on Sunday. According to police sources, the injured victim named Lubna Wajhat reported that her two-year-old son Shujjat was playing with his 3-years-old cousin Shadab in the courtyard when he fell down while playing. In response, her brother-in-law named Jawaad Khan began to beat her son in anger. When she intervened and tried to stop him from beating her son, he took out an iron rod and hit her with it. Police has registered a case against the nominated accused and further investigation is under way. APP

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Equal opportunities for women demanded – 13 Feb 2023

LAHORE: Women’s Action Forum (WAF) chapters from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Hyderabad, Peshawar and Quetta at a national convention on Sunday analysed key issues confronting women and others today.

WAF condemned the indifference of the power elite who have failed the people of Pakistan. This has led to the dire economic, social and political crises citizens are facing today, with women and other marginalised people bearing the brunt of the fall-out.

The 2022 floods demonstrate the urgent need to be prepared for climate change impacts and to reorient our inappropriate development planning that is extractive consumer-oriented and anti-poor. WAF demands the provision of immediate rehabilitation and support in consultation with affected people in a fair and transparent process.

WAF demands urgent reforms of systems and structures to avoid more detrimental borrowing. WAF acknowledges that the 18th Amendment helped decentralisation but it cannot be effective without empowered local government with adequate fiscal authorities.

Women’s Action Forum stresses the state’s irrevocable responsibility for upholding its citizens’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, security and dignity. WAF calls on the state to protect agricultural land as this is the only safety against food insecurity. Agricultural land must not be allowed to be taken over by housing societies or other private sector interests to the detriment of people. WAF demands that every woman be granted land ownership to ensure food security and livelihoods.

WAF is concerned that laws relating to gender-based violence in particular are passed in haste for political point scoring; without passing enabling legislation including rule of business, and without putting into place the required mechanisms and necessary budgets for effective implementation.

WAF demands that information on laws and policies be widely disseminated including to lower courts and all responders.

The current system of decision-making, resource allocation and priorities is untenable. WAF calls for a renewed of social contract that supports a truly democratic system in which the parliament can reclaim its role of legislation and oversight to protect the interest of the citizens instead of engaging in a battle over power at the cost of the interest of the people. participation.

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Female drug dealer arrested – 13 Feb 2023

LAHORE: Defence B police have arrested a female drug dealer and recovered 2-kg hashish from her possession.

The accused was identified as Shabana. South Cantt police arrested one Amar and recovered 100 kites and chemical string from his possession. The accused used to order kites online and supply them to different areas. Ghaziabad police arrested two cellphone snatchers Zubair and Haider and recovered cellphones and a pistol from their possession. Nawab Town police arrested one Walayat for killing a citizen Amer Hamza in his house a few days ago. The accused suspected that Amir Hamza had kidnapped his daughter.

500 kite-makers, flyers held: Lahore police arrested more than 500 kite-makers, flyers and sellers from January to date. Police recovered more than 3,700 kites and over 600 kite string spools from them.

ACCIDENTS: Around 12 people were killed in different road accidents across the Punjab province during the last 24 hours.

The Punjab Emergency Service Department responded to 1,121 road traffic accidents in all districts of Punjab during the last 24 hours. In these accidents, 12 people died, whereas 1,185 were injured. Around 632 people having serious injuries were shifted to different hospitals and 553 injured were treated on the spot by Rescue medical teams.

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Two killed on love marriage row – 13 Feb 2023

OKARA: Two people were killed and a woman was injured on Saturday in village 23/1AL over a love marriage issue, the police said. Up to 28 people, 23 nominated, stormed the house of Baqir Ali and the local government girls primary school where they held hostage headmistress Rukhsana, wife of Baqir, and later shot at and injured her.

Complainant Javed Ghazi says his cousins Ahmad Shahzad and Javed Hasan, in right of self defence, opened fire.

Two of the attackers ZafarAliandMuhammad Hussain received bullets, fired by their accomplices. Hussain died at the scene while Rescue 1122 shifted Zafar and Rukhsana to hospital where Zafar also succumbed to his injuries, while Rulchsana was referred to Lahore in critical condition.

The police arrived at the site after a call toRescue 15. The dispute erupted as a result of Rukhsana`s son Bahawal Sher`s love marriage to Ammara, the daughter of Muhammad Ahmad, one of the 23 identified attackers in the FIR.

The suspects had kidnapped Ammara`s fatherin-law, Baqir, a few weeks ago. City Renala police registered a kidnapping case. The suspects were released on pre-arrest ball. On the other side, Baqir`s rivals, including Muhammad Ahmad, Fahad, Khizar Bashir, Saadi Ahmad, Irfan, Liaqat, Nawaz, Saad, Ashraf Baloch, Husnain Qasim, Tariq, Arif, Murtaza, Sabir, Imran, Abdullah, Haji, and Umair attacked his house.

They were booked under sections 302, 324, 365, 511, 148 and 149 of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Shergarh police on the report of Baqir`s nephew Javed Ghazi. The assailants left their three motorcycles bacl< at the scene, which were impounded by the area police.

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Police unearth `organ transplant gang`, one arrested – 13 Feb 2023

RAWALPINDI: The Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP) unearthed a gang that was involved in `depriving` people of their kidneys and selling them to foreigners at a high price. A man was also arrested in connection with the case.

The accused also tried to bribe the PHP official. Initially, the FIR was registered on the charges of bribing police and rash driving. An initial medical examination of the victim confirmed that the organ had been harvested, but relevant sections of the law would be added to the FIR after a formal medical report.

After the registration of the case, the police launched an investigation which led to the revelation of four other members of the gang and their `mini operation theatre` established in a house in Bahria Town`s Phase VIII. Police also recovered medical instruments from the house rented by the alleged gang.

Police said raids were underway to arrest the remaining gang members which charged Rs5 million from their clients chiefly hailing from Arab countries for an organ.

PHP sub-inspector MohammadSayab Awan posted in Bahria Town lodged an FIR with the district police, saying that he along with his subordinates was on duty at a police checl< post on Japan Road when they intercepted a white car coming from Khalid Block, Bahria Town, on Saturday.

The police official said that the driver was signaled to stop, but he tried to speed away from the scene.

The vehicle, however, was forced to stop with help of an obstruction.

He said that the driver identified himself as Saqib Ali, a resident of Rawalpindi but he refused to produce the registration book of the vehicle, saying that `he was in a hurry` as he had to drop a passenger off.

Instead, the car driver wanted to give Rs5,000 to the police in exchange for letting him go but the bribe was refused.

Upon further investigation, the police asked the passenger, sitting in the vehicle with a shawl wrapped around him, to get off the car.

The police discovered a cannula (a small flexible plastic tube inserted into a vein) on his right hand and bandages on his abdomen.

Upon interrogation, the man identified himself as Azam Wall, a resident of Faisalabad, who works as a labourer at a brick kiln. He said that he borrowed money from his employer and now the employer had been demanding the money back.

He informed the police that he brought the issue to his brother`s notice who introduced him to Saqib Ali and Imran who assured him that they would financially help him and called him to Rawalpindi.

Upon reaching Rawalpindi, Saqib Ali picked up Mr Wali from a bus stopand drove him to a house in Bahria Town where he was administered an injection, which made him fall unconscious. After he regained consciousness, he was feeling pain in his abdomen and found a cannula inserted in his arm, he said.

According to Mr Wali, Rs200,000 were sent to his brother against his kidney; this was revealed to him after he talked to his brother on the phone.

After he protested, they told him he would be well within a few days.

In addition to that, he claimed that a second man, who was dressed in Arabic attire and resting on the bed next to him, gave him Rs40,000.

He claimed to have spent a day and night in Bahria Town while receiving several injections through the cannula.

Police said that according to the statement of the victim, his condition and medical reports, there was no doubt that the 1(idney of Mr Wali was `illegally removed`.

After the police carried out a search of Saqib Ali, Rs495,000 and 50 Omani Riyals were recovered from him. An amount of Rs500,000 were also recovered from the vehicle.

It may be mentioned here that at least three weeks ago, the Lahore police conducted a raid in Rawalpindi and arrested a member of the gang involved in the illegal harvesting of kidneys at a private laboratory.

When asked about the Lahore police raid in the garrison city and the arrest of the accused involved in the illegal trade of kidneys, a senior police officer of Rawalpindi said that therehad beennoreportsofanysuch gang or laboratory operating in the city.

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Body formed to see whether jirga was held to save convict in rape, murder case – 13 Feb 2023

MITHI: The Special Assistant to the Chief Minister on Human Rights, Surendar Valasai, has constituted a three-member fact-finding committee amid reports and claims that a jirga (tribal court) had been con-vened to force the family of a rape victim to pardon the influential figure, who has already been convicted.

The girl, Leelan Meghawar, was subjected to rape by the influential figure, Koonpji Thakur, and had committed suicide in Koonrul village of Tharparkar district several years ago. The case was decided in Sept 2021 and the Thakur was jailed for 24 years. He was also ordered to pay a fine/compensation of Rs9.4 million.

On Saturday, some reports in the mainstream and social media suggested that the Thakur family had convened a jirga where the family and close relatives ofLeelan Meghawar were called and allegedly forced to agree on pardoning Koonpji Thakur so that he could be saved from suffering the remaining jail term.

Taking notice of such reports, CM`s aide Mr Valasai on Sunday formed a fact-finding committee comprising his department`s vigilance committee members Kashif Bajeer Noorjehan Gahelro and Advocate Paryal Marri. Headed by Mr Bajeer, the committee will visit Koonrul village and see whether the jirga was held and whether the family was forced to agree on a settlement as alleged. The committee will also meet Leelan Meghawar`s family, elders andmembers of her community, local journalists and the local officials concerned to accomplish its fact-finding task.

It will submit its report to the department concerned.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, the Sindh Human Rights Department has said that holding of a jirga to save convicted criminals is a matter of serious concern.

The statement noted that court had convicted the man [Thakur] in the Leelan Meghawar rape and murder case. `It is also a fact that the family of the innocent girl, who was a victim of cruelty, is extremely poor. In this case, it needs to be seen that the victim`sfamily was persuaded or threatened to pardon the convict. The human rights department, under its mandate, will ensure justice with the blood of the victim…` it added.

According to Mr Valasai, such jirgas lead to a surge in the trend of crime against women and the vulnerable in society, therefore, violation of human rights and law in the name of jirgas cannot be tolerated.

`The Sindh government has an unshakable determination not to be a victim of any expediency on the issue of rights and protection of the poor and vulnerable segments of society, said Mr Valasai.

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Man gets five years in prison for raping minor girl – 13 Feb 2023

KARACHI: A gender-based violence court has sentenced a man to five-year imprisonment on charges of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in North Nazimabad in 2019.

Muhammad Akram was found guilty of raping the minor girl within the jurisdiction of Shahrah-i-Noor Jehan police station in August 2019.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (Central) Zabiha Khattak pronounced her verdict reserved after recording evidence and final arguments from both sides.

The judge noted that the prosecution had successfully established the case against the accused without any reasonable shadow of doubt.

The judge remarked: `The victim whose age is just nine years fully implicated and identified the accused person and she also described the role as well as shameful act of accused person before the Court in her evidence.

She cancelled the bail of the convict, who was present in court, and sent him to prison to serve out the remaining portion of his sentence.

During the trial, the minor victim had rightly picked out the accused as her rapist before the court.

She deposed that her brother had gone out to buy meals while her parents had gone to their work on the day of the incident when their neighbour, Akram, came to her house, forcibly took her to his rented room on the first floor of the same building and subjected her to rape.

State prosecutor Hina Naz argued that the material as well as ocular and medical evidence fully corroborated the charges, adding that the testimony of the victim itself was a crucial piece of evidence since she would not lie being an innocent child. She pleaded the judge to punish the accused strictly in accordance with the law.

The accused produced his landlord Abida Tahir as a defence witness, who deposed that Akram was falsely implicated in the case by the complainant. However, she failed to provide any tenancy agreement signed with the accused.

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Brutal lynching – 13 Feb 2023

The lynching of Sri Lankan, Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, and his likes across Pakistan, are a blot on our conscience

We are once again ashamed. Alas, we have not learnt any lessons from the guilt we had to face from the gruesome acts that were carried out by sections of our society in Sialkot and Khanewal under the guise of blasphemy. The lynching of Sri Lankan, Priyantha Kumara Diyawadana, and his likes elsewhere across Pakistan, are a blot on our conscience. To make the memories more horrible, the lynching in Nankana Sahib of a 35-year-old man accused of blasphemy is unacceptable, to say the least. What makes it more horrendous is the fact that a mob had the audacity to break into the police station, ransack its belongings, throw open the detained inmates and get away with the accused being brutally maimed, killed, and then his corpse dragged into the streets. This is barbaric and cowardice, too.

The question is where were the law-enforcement agencies, and why didn’t even a single citizen stand up to resist? Perhaps, there wasn’t any Adnan Malik of Khanewal in Nankana Sahib. Though some disciplinary action was prompt to come from the legal bureaucracy and the police high-ups by suspending the concerned officials, it is no consolation to the magnitude of crime that the heterogeneous district of Punjab had witnessed.

Now is the moment of action. Something serious needs to be done to do away with the gangrene of radicalism in our midst. The fact is that never has the law taken its course, and no effective retribution has come in real time. Similarly, it is a collective failure of the society as religious scholars have limited their discourse to lip-service, and have not been able to prevail over their subjects to educate them the true spirit of Islam, compassion and forgiveness. Last but not least, the finer-points in blasphemy law unfortunately act as a catalyst for the insane to resort to violence. Pakistanis, primarily, are law-abiding and egalitarian in essence. It is in the insetting of extremism precedents that are ruining society. This license to kill must come to an end.

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Domestic workers’ abuse – 13 Feb 2023

A despicable act of violence took the life of an innocent 11-year-old domestic worker

Time and again, a despicable act of violence rears its ugly head, this time taking the life of an innocent 11-year-old domestic worker. The Karachi police have managed to arrest the woman who allegedly committed this heinous crime after the father of the deceased minor filed a FIR under Section 302, 324, and 337-A of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Hailing from Tharparkar, the father had sent all three of his children to work in Karachi in order to make ends meet. He later found out, after the death of the youngest, that all three were being subjected to inhumane torture and violence. They were beaten so cruelly, with heated tongs and pliers, that another brother has “lost his senses.” Such can only be the job of a barbarian, not of a human being with a conscience. Moral depravity has reached new limits and a mere Rs15,000 — salary for each boy being given to the family — means that you get to do whatever you want with another helpless human being. While the incident has incited outrage and protest from the victim’s family and local village residents, justice can only be dispensed by state institutions and those in power. Politicians have come out in support, however only relevant legal action will soothe the bereaved family.

Even though a legislative framework supports the plight of domestic workers in Sindh, continued instances of sheer barbarity call for serious reforms at the ground level. Whatever happened to the initiative of registering the particulars of domestic? A door-to-door drive must be initiated to register all domestic workers, including the houses they work in. The labor department must periodically check on the condition of these workers and make sure that they are not being exploited or tortured.

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