SHO held in dacoity-cum-rape aftermath -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

SHO held in dacoity-cum-rape aftermath

FAISALABAD, Aug 26: The Balochni station house officer (SHO) has been arrested on the directives of the Punjab chief minister on charges of negligence and cover-up in a dacoity-cum-rape case.

A 13-member gang had assaulted three women of family in Chak 90-R/B five days ago.

Chief Minister Pervez Elahi paid a surprise visit to the village on Sunday and consoled with the family and alleged rape victims and ordered that culprits be arrested within a week.

Assuring the victim family of his full support, the chief minister announced Rs 400,000 compensation and directed DIG Operations Mohammad Aslam Tareen that Balochni SHO Malik Shahid, already suspended, be arrested for negligence and dereliction of duty. The SHO was immediately arrested on the chief minister’s directives.

The chief minister also ordered DSP Mehr Rab Nawaz’s suspension from service. However, he was informed that the DSP had already been suspended on the directives of the Supreme Court in a kidnapping case a few days ago.

The alleged dacoity-cum-rape took place in Jamaat Ali’s house on the night of Aug 21. The dacoits who collected cash, gold jewellery and other raped three women of the family before fleeing. However, the police registered a case with charges of dacoity only and did not mention rape charges in the FIR.

Elahi directed setting up of a police camp in the village till the culprits were arrested. He told senior police officials to be ready to face the music in case they failed to arrest the outlaws within a week.

The chief minister also announced establishment of a police post in the area to improve security situation.

Elahi flanked by IGP Ahmed Nasim arrived here without any intimation and all local officials rushed to the spot after hearing the news of his arrival.

The chief minister also directed withdrawal of the case registered against some locals for staging a demonstration over the incident and protesting the alleged lethargic conduct of the SHO, who had told the locals to come the next day as he was feeling dizziness due to insomnia and wanted to sleep at that time.

The police had registered the case against around 250 villagers for staging the demonstration and blocking Sheikhupura Road for hours.

DIG Tareen told Dawn that SHO had been arrested to comply with the chief minister’s directives. He said he had suspended the SHO from service immediately after the incident was reported to him.

However, the DIG ruled out rape accusations, saying they were baseless and said the chief minister had himself discussed the incident in detail with the family.
Source: Dawn
Date:8/27/2007