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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It took the gang rape survivor less than 24 hours to realise that she was better off withdrawing her statement, so badly did the government and police manage the case.
Twenty-something K and her acquaintance S, in her mid-30s, were driving in a blue Suzuki Alto on Khayaban-e-Qasim in DHA Karachi when three to four men in a car rammed into them from the back. The small car dived into a ditch, the women were dragged from the car, abducted and K was gang raped while S was beaten. They were then dumped back at the spot. M, one of K’s friends, took them to hospital from where the case was taken up.
DIG South Iqbal Mehmood confirmed that the medico-legal report stated that rape had indeed taken place. “The report has been reserved for now and will only be released on Tuesday,” he said. S was beaten and needed 17 stitches, added Citizens-Police Liaison Committee chief Ahmed Chinoy. He told The Express Tribune, “Since there was no medico-legal officer (MLO) at Jinnah hospital they were then taken to Services hospital where the MLO examined the girl and also took samples for DNA testing. The initial report does say that she was raped.” Police Surgeon Dr Hamid Parhiyar said K’s clothes have been handed over to the police. DNA samples have been dispatched as well. Dr Sumayan, who carried out the chemical examination, has declined to comment.
K’s friend M registered the First Information Report (FIR) No. 585/10 under Sections 365-A (kidnapping) and 375/34 (gang rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code at Darakshan police station. It states that there were three to four unidentified men who committed the crime. The complaint was, however, withdrawn late Monday night.
At the Darakhshan police station, where the statements were recorded, a veritable media circus had broken out. Not one to be left out, information adviser Sharmila Farooqui arrived and after attempting to speak to K, met the media at about 7:30 pm. Against all internationally adopted procedures, the adviser not only named the rape survivor but went on to express scepticism and describe K as extremely “hyper” and “rude” as she did not want to speak to anyone. “She’ll beat you with a stick if you go meet her!” Farooqui exclaimed.
The adviser told the media that K had said that she would think about giving names and addresses after mulling over them through the night. Amid a rash of questions, Farooqui discussed M’s statement that led to the FIR. M’s statement was automatically assumed to be K’s version of the events, that she went to a “party” and was raped after she emerged from it. “But this is her version,” said Farooqui. She went on to make the judgement that K’s statements had been “contradictory” because her friends had given different statements and locations.
“You will understand it later [after investigations are through],” Farooqui answered to further badgering from the media. “We’ve understood it a little… Uss [her statements] mein jaan nahi he. Thora sa he.”
Farooqui said that K was blaming the police and politicians for inviting the media. “A perfectly normal person would panic with so much media around,” the adviser admitted.
K was not willing to share details of where she lived, the address of the supposed party she had attended and other information. S was also not keen on divulging any details.
Adviser Farooqui and the CPLC’s Chinoy went on to stress that the rumours of a gang operating in DHA were not true. “There is no such thing. It is an individual, isolated case,” Farooqui said. She expressed sympathy for the police. “The bechara DIG has been sitting here for four hours,” she remarked.
Chinoy, who also spoke to K, said, “She was calm. However given the amount of media present, given what happened, she was disturbed and said that she had not been treated fairly [mere sath insaaf nahi hua he].”
While officials admitted that the medico-legal report showed that K had been raped, the prevailing consensus at the police station was that the women were at fault and were ‘blackmailing’ someone by filing the FIR. When asked about K’s profession, DIG Iqbal Mehmood huffily replied, “She says she is a model.” He then went on to disclose personal biological details about her.
At the police station, there appeared to be an effort to portray that the alleged victims were ‘call girls’ and one of them was involved in ‘trafficking women’. Much was made of the “fact” that the women had reportedly attended a party and that one of their statements did not match.
“The victim is not ready to inform the police about the culprits and she is not even answering when the police ask her from where she was returning home at midnight,” said SHO Rana Amjad. “We did not register the case on the complaint of the victim but we lodged the FIR over media pressure.” The women had not spoken to any media personnel and had left the police station while reporters were amassed outside.
The small car, which had been hit by the alleged perpetrators’ car, stood in the parking lot at the police station. Its front and rear ends had received extensive damage and the windshield was smashed.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity, a female police surgeon with 15 years of experience, who works with rape survivors admitted at Jinnah hospital, Civil hospital and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, said: “We keep asking the (alleged) victim questions and slowly take them into confidence in order to get the whole story. Every now and then we revert to the same questions in order to check for continuity… In some cases the woman may be severely traumatised and when questioned by the police may succumb to pressure.” Dr Mubarak Ali, a medico-legal officer at Civil hospital, also said a victim’s story changes if they get scared of the police.
PPI reported, however, that both women came to the police station on Monday at about midnight and informed the police about the case.
According to this report, the police took them to Civil Hospital Karachi (CHK) for medico-legal formalities. CHK MLO Dr Qarrar told PPI that the initial report suggested that the woman was raped.
Clifton SP Tariq Dharejo told The Express Tribune that the DIG was forming a special investigation team to investigate the matter. The mobile phone records are being pulled as well.
with additional input by mahnoor sherazee
Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2010.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
|President of |
Karachi Transport Ittehad,
Irshad Hussain Bukhari
City transporters, fearing their vehicles would be impounded by law enforcement agencies for blocking intersections of MA Jinnah Road during the congregations and main processions of Muharram-ul-Haram, have decided to keep the vehicles off the road, The Nation has learnt here on Tuesday.
President of Karachi Transport Ittehad, Irshad Hussain Bukhari informed that law enforcement agencies would take over the buses and minibuses forcibly after 7th of Muharam and place them at sensitive places to block areas from where the Muharrram processions would pass.
He said if any driver or conductor offers resistance, they are immediately detained.
He said police have started to impound vehicles however he declined to give exact figures of how many vehicles have been taken over.
He said, last year the law enforcement agencies detained over 150 vehicles for security reason and used them for blocking roads.
He said to avoid such an occurrence and as safety measure it had been decided to withdraw vehicles.
Irshad Hussain Bukhari expressed serious concern about the safety of the public transport vehicles adding that last years, unidentified miscreants torched their 50 vehicles which were used as road blocks during the main processions of Aashura of last year.
He further said that Sindh Government did not give compensation to the affected bus owners and once again it had started holding vehicles forcibly. According to information available Karachi police every year on the crucial days of Muhram-ul-Harram get hold of the public vehicles, cargo containers, goods transport vehicles, in order to place them for the security purpose at different intersections of the main MA Jinnah Road from where the processions of the Muharram-ul-Haram would pass.(Nation)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Rangers have arrested more than 300 terrorists, including Taliban leaders after conducting a search operation in Manghopir, Karachi.
Rangers sources said that they had arrested a terrorist, Zain-ul-Abedin, a few days ago and initiated the search operation on information provided by him in Manghopir and its surroundings areas, early Tuesday morning.
Sources say that the Sindh government had received information from secret agencies that terrorists have planned terror activities in Karachi during Muharram-ul-Haram. (SAMAA)
Sunday, December 5, 2010
The 64th annual elections of KBA were held in City Court on Saturday where only journalists and law practitioners were allowed entry.
It is pertinent to mention here that a number of 58 candidates took part on as many as 21 seats in KBA.
Victorious advocate, Mohammed Aaqil, won with a big margin as he secured 1708 votes against his front running opponent Naeem Qureshi, who got 1565 votes.
Over 60 percent turnout was recorded for the first time in KBA elections on Saturday wherein a total of 3429 votes were cast.
An unorthodox participation was noticed in KBA polls owing to provincial holiday and extraordinary security measures around City Court, which contributed massively in bring the voters to polls.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
All Russian aircraft at Pakistani airports have been grounded. The move comes after a Russian-made Ilyushin IL-76 cargo plane operated by a Georgian company Sunway airlines crashed in a residential neighbourhood of Karachi, killing eight crewmembers and three men on the ground.
Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson Pervez George told The Express Tribune that apart from four AN-26 cargo planes at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, several other aircraft in Lahore, Peshawar and Islamabad have been grounded for “technical reasons.”
Elaborating, George said the technical reasons could mean anything from technical faults in the aircraft to invalid travel documents and unspecified cargo.
There is no restriction on Russian aircraft landing in the country. However, once they land, they would have to go through stringent checks and prove their valid documents, the spokesperson said, adding that the new directives come from the ‘top’. George said all grounded planes were being thoroughly checked at the moment. “We can terminate the license of the airliner if we find that all procedures have not been followed.”
A senior civil aviation official, who wished not to be named, said that previously the operating procedures for such cargo planes that mostly arrived from the UAE and Afghanistan were very relaxed. So much so that no Pakistani engineers had checked for technical faults in the last aircraft that crashed and the cargo was also not checked.
Russian consulate press attaché Alex Zenkoe said the Pakistani authorities have not informed the diplomatic mission about the restrictions in writing, though he admitted that ‘some verbal’ communications has taken place. Zenkoe also said that the IL-76 was being operated by a Georgian airliner Sunway, so why the restrictions on Russian airplanes. He questioned why his country’s aircraft were being singled out when almost any plane in the world could crash, including the recent Airblue tragedy in Islamabad that involved an Airbus aircraft.
George clarified that the restrictions would not apply on commercial airliners. “Only non-scheduled flights would be affected by the new directives,” he said.(ET)