Feudal lords gang-rape girl, force family to keep mum -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Feudal lords gang-rape girl, force family to keep mum

MULTAN, May 29 2006: A powerful Sanawan family of feudal lords, whose four members allegedly gang-raped a teenaged girl and threw her in a semi-naked and unconscious condition outside her house in a village near Union Council 26 of the Muzaffargarh district on May 24 night, has since been pressuring the victim’s family to keep mum and reach a compromise.

One of the alleged rapists, Malik Salimullah Sanawan, is a younger brother of a former union council Naib Nazim. The Sanawan police have registered a case against the four people. “They kidnapped me from my house and four people, including Malik Salik Salimullah Sanawan, rapped me the whole night,” Kosar Bibi, aged 16, told this correspondent on May 28.

Locals said the Sanawans were powerful feudal lords landlords and had been trying to settle the matter out of court by pressurising the victim’s family to keep mum. The feudal lords were also alleged to have been holding the whole family of Kosar hostage and keeping a constant vigil on their house. “They have been pressurising the family not to lodge a complaint with the police,” said Muhammad Rafiq Bhatti, an elder of the village.

Muzaffargarh DPO Rai Tahir was unaware of the incident but he later sent a police inquiry team to the village when he received information about it. When a team of The News arrived in the village, three people, including Dr Riaz Sanawan, were sitting outside Kosar’s house but they said they were sitting there to kill the time.

Meanwhile, a police party recorded the statements of the victim and her family members. Muhammad Shafi, the girl’s father, said Malik Salimullah brought milk his family on Wednesday night (May 24). He said he drank the milk and fell unconscious night, while his four children, including Kosar, also drank the milk.

“My landlord, Mian Hafeez Qureshi, and my relatives woke up me next morning on Thursday, but I was feeling dizzy. My relatives started searching for my daughter Kosar as she was not around. Later, Kosar was found semi-naked in a nearby farm and her uncle placed a Chadar on her,” Shafi said. An investigation into the gang-rape revealed that Kosar’s family members had been serving the Sanawan feudal lords as drivers and domestic servants and that Malik Salimullah had unsuccessfully been trying to lure the girl.

Sanawan Police Station SHO Tassadaq Abbas said the Sanawan landlords had been trying to reach a compromise with the victimÂ’s family. He said a case had been registered against Malik Salimullah, Abbass Kolachi and two unknown rapists, while a medical test of Kosar was being conducted. The SHO said the police could not get a medico-legal report of the girl as due to holiday Sunday (May 28) the Sanawan Hospital and Kot Addu Tehsil Headquarter Hospital were closed. Later, he added, the police party was sent to the Muzaffargarh Hospital for a medico-legal report while another team was conducting raids to arrest the accused.

However, Dr Riaz Sanawan rejected the gang-rape charges and said the media should not rely on “a statement of a teenaged girl”. He said the Sanawans are not guilty and they are just asking Kosar to avoid defaming their family’s reputation in the area. Malik Sanaullah Sanawan, the elder brother of the main accused, who visited the victim’s house, said, “They have no knowledge about the occurrence of such a gang-rape incident.” When he was asked about Riaz’s statement that they were trying to reconcile the matter, he said he (Riaz) did not inform him about the incident.
Source: The News
Date:5/29/2006