Rape victim pleads for govt protection -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Rape victim pleads for govt protection

PESHAWAR – An alleged rapist who later set the house of the rape victim on fire in a village of Charsadda district is still at large despite public outcry.

The 20-year-old victim and her mother, who are now living with their relative, have urged the government to provide security to them.

The victim told Dawn that on Oct 27 she was alone at her home when Shahzeb, a resident of Hisar, scaled the wall of her house in the morning and raped her at gunpoint while three of his friends remained on guard.

She said that her mother Dilshad, a widow, was a street vendor and her four younger brothers were doing odd jobs to keep both ends meet.

“I used to be alone at my house and Shahzeb had tried to enter her house earlier too, but due to the arrival of some guests he had to retreat,” she said.

Relatives of Dilshad, neighbours and other villagers told a fact finding team of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday that they were too scared to identify the alleged rapist.

The family of the victim moved to Hisar village two months ago.

The accused had a bad reputation and the police often received complaints about him. He had also spent two months in jail under section 107 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The rape victim’s family was in a shock and made hue and cry over the incident. Two elders of the area, Ghunday Haji and Sharif Khan, intervened and facilitated an agreement between the two parties.

Both the families compromised on their advice.

The accused had pressurised the two elders to force the victim’s family to compromise, said a son of Ghunday Haji.

Five days later the victim along with her mother went to the local police station as the accused person again tried to enter their house.

“They had registered an FIR because they were not secure even after the compromise. They reported to the police station out of fear,” he said.

The villagers confirmed that they had heard that the accused had tried to enter the victim’s house again with bad intentions.

The alleged rapist on Nov 7, set the house of the victim on fire to show his resentment as the victim had registered an FIR against him in the local police station.

Zarina, 50 and a neighbour of the victim, said that she was often out of her house because she was also a street vendor and her daughter remained alone at home.

Zarina said that she was afraid to tell anything to the HRCP fact finding team because the rapist was moving in the area freely.

A maternal aunt of the victim said that they were all scared because they were very poor and could not protect themselves.

“Police cannot catch a rapist and there was no security to the honour of poor women,” said the victims’ aunt.

The police had done nothing so far and it was ironic that Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao was from the same district, a villager said.

The police showed ignorance about the Sunday’s incident and on the request of the HRCP team added section 436 of the PPC against the accused, Shahzeb, for destroying the victim’s house.

The victim’s family was afraid to register a report about the incident.

The SHO of the Charsadda police station, Mir Qasim Khan, said that though the FIR was registered five days late but still the case was legally strong.

“The FIR was registered late and may be because the victim’s family wanted some kind of compensation by a compromise,” said the SHO Mr Khan.

They had first compromised and later registered the FIR, Mr Khan said.

He admitted to the fact that the accused rapist had a bad reputation and the police had been receiving complaints about him.

The police officer said that the complainant had said that the FIR was registered late because her family was taking advice of the relatives on the issue.

The police was conducting raids to catch the accused and bring him to book. The accused belong to Malazay tribe and they were nomads.

The family of the accused had also moved to an unknown place after the fire incident.

Source: Dawn

Date:11/10/2004