Gang rape survivor from PoK seeks justice

Bhimber [PoK], May 18 (ANI): A gang rape survivor from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is running from pillar to post to seek harsh punishment for those involved in the heinous crime.

She said in a video message that she is being denied justice while her rapists are out loose.

"I have endured rape, blackmailing and abduction. I have been running pillar to post seeking justice since 2015. Haroon Rashid, Mamoon Rashid, Jameel Shafi, Waqas Ashraf, Sanam Haroon and three more were involved in crime against me. When I went to the police, they handed me over to the local panchayat (jirga). The Panchayat was presided over by brother and brother-in-law of Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, a senior minister of Pakistan occupied Kashmir," she said.

She added, "The Panchayat worked for nineteen days and the criminals pleaded guilty. In spite of that police took our testimony against three crimes on a gunpoint. When I reached police again then I got to know that two FIRs have been lodged; one from my side and another was filed by the police itself to provide relief to the criminals".

Refusing to bog and be silenced, the woman is relentlessly pursuing her case. She wrote several letters to local authorities including Chief Justice of Pakistan occupied Kashmir Kashmir.

She got a humiliating response from PoK Chief Justice which said that she is a married woman and there is nothing serious in her kidnapping and gang rape. Gang rape of a married woman is not a big deal, he added, according to the victim.

She said, "My FIR was rejected and two criminals were arrested on the basis of the weak FIR. When I took media to the police station, I saw none of the two was behind bars and instead, they were sleeping in the office of Sub-inspector. The key reason behind me not getting justice is senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, who has been providing patronage to the criminals."

The rape survivor made allegations that these criminals are mainly involved in attacking the government buildings, to hold Deputy Commissioner (DC), Superintendent of Police (SP) hostage in their offices, raping and blackmailing women and setting them on fire, even raping men, to capture the property of poor and murder of innocents.

The victim said in her video, "The case has been in Mirpur's Shariat court for past four and a half years but no action has been taken. On the contrary, police is trying to frame us. I have gone to every possible forum but haven't received justice."

Many rape survivors and their families in Pakistan occupied Kashmir are afraid to come forward to publicly confront perpetrators because they fear being shunned by their community. (ANI)