Lawyer defending rape victim's case tortured -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Lawyer defending rape victim’s case tortured

Akhtar Amin

PESHAWAR: A police officer charged in the reported kidnapping and rape of a young girl from Karak district has allegedly arrested and tortured her lawyer after he refused to quit the case against the policemen and other accused.

Lawyer Irfan Khattak said that on October 29 he was arrested and tortured for supporting the victim girl Uzma Ayub’s family and contesting the case. “Hakim Khan first asked me to quit the case. After my refusal, he along with his guard beat me up and then arrested me,” Irfan Khattak told The News here Sunday.

Narrating his ordeal, the lawyer said the ASI chased his car and stopped it at Inzar Chowk at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The police officer took out a copy of the holy Quran and asked him to take oath on the Quran that from now on he would neither contest the case nor assist the victim’s family in any way.

He said when he refused to accept his demand the ASI took him to the Takht-e-Nusrati Police Station and tortured him there. The lawyer said the ASI released him after the visit of Karak Bar Association President Jan-e-Alam and Takht-e-Nusrati Sub-divisional Bar President Javed Akhtar to the police station.

“I will contest the case even at the cost of my life and for my profession,” he said, adding that he had informed the bar associations and hopefully they would call a meeting on the police highhandedness today (Monday).

The lawyer first provided legal assistance to the girl for recording her statement before the judicial magistrate in which she claimed that she was raped by several persons including Inspector Mohsin Shah, Sub-Inspector Amir Khan and Assistant Sub-Inspector Hakim Khan and other accused including Nazar Khan, Karim, Dr Iqbal and Naseebullah throughout her captivity.

Presently, the lawyer has been pleading the girl’s case regarding kidnapping and rape registered under section 365-B of the PPC.

Alamzeb, brother of the victim girl, told The News that police were still victimising his family for going public with the complaint against the cops. He said those who helped the family were also being implicated in false cases.

Before the incident, he claimed that the police also implicated their lawyer Afsar Khan in false cases for helping their family and filing an application under Section 22A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against the accused in the kidnapping and rape case of his sister. He said the police tortured Afsar Khan mentally, physically and financially.

After immense pressure, he said, the lawyer abandoned the case. Some five days ago, there were reports that a high-level inquiry committee of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in its report recommended the DNA test of the victim and the accused persons in the alleged kidnapping and rape case to unearth the rapists among the policemen and 13 other accused in the case.

The report also suggested suspension and arrest of the three police officials and constituting another inquiry committee to be headed by an officer not less than the rank of a superintendent of police (SP).

Meanwhile, the civil society members have condemned the arrest and torture on Irfan Khattak advocate.

“The Karak district police officer is backing the policemen. The government is silent and the home secretary’s suspension order is worthless when it is not implemented,” Idrees Kamal, a representative of the civil society organisations, told The News.

He said the three nominated cops were still enjoying facilities. He said they were trying to pursue the main witnesses and forcing them to back out from the case. He said they were threatening lawyers involved in the Uzma Ayub case one after the other.

“Delay in response from the chief minister may further jeopardise the case and the security of the survivor and her family,” he said, adding that the civil society organizations were vigilant and monitoring the case.
Source: The News
Date:10/31/2011