Police accused of helping ‘influential rapists’
By Shakeel Ahmad
MULTAN, Sept 12: The Fazalpur police have allegedly let some “influential rapists” off the hook, making the victim and her family move from place to place to get justice. The police are also alleged to have delayed the thirteen-year-old’s medical examination besides releasing the nominated accused. According to complainant Abdul Aziz, her daughter went to fields at Basti Pirhar on June 12 when Muhammad Farooq, Imam Bakhsh, Azam and Muhammad Razzaq abducted and raped her. The Fazalpur police raided the outhouse of the accused that took to the heels.
The police chased the accused and arrested Doda Bosan who had taken shelter in a house. They, however, released Bosan after exonerating him of the charge the same day and also failed to recover the girl. Apprehending more raids, the accused emancipated the girl who informed her parents about her ordeal. On her father’s complaint, the police arrested Farooq, one of the accused. Meanwhile, some political figures of the area became active and contacted the police for the release of the accused. The police allegedly delayed recording the victim’s formal statement and her medical examination. They recorded her formal statement after 10 days, alleged the complainant.
He said the police registered a kidnap case only and also didn’t allow the girl’s medical examination, turning a deaf ear to the aggrieved family’s complaints. Investigation Officer Abdul Rehman Bhatti released two nominated accused Azam and Muhammad Razzaq after declaring them innocent. Disgusted at the police behavior, the family filed a petition with the court of area magistrate Saifullah who summoned Ayub Lodhi, the Fazalpur police SHO, on July 12 but the policeman didn’t show up. The court again summoned him on July 17 but he appeared two days later (on 19th) when the magistrate asked him to reappear on July 24. During the court hearing, the police presented fictitious statement of the girl that the area magistrate rejected and he ordered to take fresh statement of the victim.
Plaintiff Abdul Aziz sent the application to the Rajanpur DPO and District Nazim Ali Raza Dereshak to order arrest of the accused but the police didn’t make any arrest. Later, Aziz handed over his application to Punjab Finance Minister Hasnain Bahadur Dareshak in his open court but even on his orders the law enforcers remained hesitant to arrest the accused. In response to the application, Dera Ghazi Khan DIG sought a report from the Rajanpur DPO who received the application on June 30 through dairy No 37-SCC. No report had so far been submitted. On the directions of the chief minister’s secretariat, Inspector Ayaz Ahmad of Special Branch, Rajanpur, initiated an inquiry but its outcome is not known yet. When contacted, Investigation Officer Abdul Hameed Bhatti told this correspondent that he found two of the accused, Azam and Muhammad Razzaq, innocent and let them go.
Answering a question about denying the medical examination, he said initially he did not consider it necessary but later he asked the plaintiff to bring the victim to the police station so that he could record her statement and send her for medical examination. The investigation officer claimed that the girl eloped with Farooq and no body had abducted her. Fazalpur police station SHO Muhammad Ayub Lodhi said there was no ground for conducting the girl’s medical examination because she went to see Farooq of her own free will. He said the area magistrate only called for a report, which he provided to him. On July 17, the plaintiff had sent an application to the Punjab AIGP to change the investigation officer but his request fell on deaf ears. Subsequently, he sought change of investigation through the court of Muhammad Akhtar Shabbir of Lahore High Court’s Multan Bench. The court ordered Dera Ghazi Khan Range DIG on Sept 5 to redress the grievance of the petitioner and submit a report but no development has so far taken place in the case.