September 26, 2020

#HangtheRapistsPublicly: Another Day, Another Victim; Motorway Gang Rape

Charcha for #HangtheRapistsPublicly

Pakistan did not recover fully from the resentment of Marwah rape case that it happens again. We urge the public hanging of the Rapists and make them accountable for their wrongdoings. A woman in her early 30’s was driving with her children on the outskirts of Lahore when her journey turned into a nightmare.

As the car neared Gujjarpura, it ran out of fuel and stalled. Taking advantage of this situation, two armed men broke the windows of the car and held the occupants’ hostage. The assailants dragged the family to a nearby forest area where they gang-raped the woman. They made her children, both under the age of 8, watch the heinous act. These sick-minded people heard their cries and fed off them. They ignored the victim’s resistance. When the physical and sexual abuse didn’t fulfil their vile thirst, they looted an amount worth 100,000 rupees and the ATM cards from the car before taking off.

The incompetence of the Motorway Police

According to some reports, the stranded victim had not only informed her relatives to seek assistance but had also called the Motorway police to come to her aid. However, the Motorway police denied her request, responding that the area is not under their jurisdiction. No one had been assigned the charge of the recently completed M-11 highway which joins the cities Lahore-Gujranwala-Sialkot where the tragedy happened. Hence rendered helpless by this incompetence, she fell victim to the assailants’ gross intentions. The 90-km long area remains out of control of Motorway Police today.

The recent comments of CCPO Umar Sheikh, who blamed the victim for the tragedy, further angered and infuriated the nation. He later responded to the criticism, saying that he was deeply saddened by the grave incident and wished that precautions were taken beforehand.  

Committee to find the culprits

The Inspector-General of Punjab Police Inam Ghani formed a six-member committee that is currently working on the case. The committee is led by Deputy Inspector General Investigations Lahore, Shahzada Sultan. Other members include SSP Investigations Lahore, RO Special branch Lahore, RO CTD, SP CIA, and In-charge anti-gender crime cell.

So far, the police have gathered CCTV footage, geo-fencing, and CDR analysis. Despite this, they have failed in reaching a conclusive decision as of now. They have now decided on a forensic census; the forensic team organized at a hospital at a location near the crime scene.

People outpouring support

What can be worse than the fact that we took one of the most beautiful creations of God and presumed that it was created to play with? What can be worse than a society that can’t protect its women and children? Conversely to many rape cases that did not get noticed and some not even reported. This motorway rape case shook the entire nation to its core. Social media was flooded with tweets to find the culprits under hashtags #motorwayincident #hangtherapistspublicly demanding justice against this heinous act by hanging the rapists publicly to set an example for others.

Progress on motorway gang rape

According to the DNA census, Police has recognized the culprits and have issued a notice of giving a reward of 2.5 million rupees to the one who finds the assailants. The pictures of barbarians have given to all news and media networks.

Shockingly, one of these criminals has 7 cases against him including 2 counts of gang rape while the other was just released on bail 2 weeks ago. This incident would not have happened if justice has been served previously. It will keep on happening unless our justice system improves and no one wiggles to make their way out until they taste their rightly served punishments. We demand public hanging of the Rapists so that it never happens again.

Hope not out

Recent reports and men showing support and positivity justify that hope is not out. Similarly, there are men that are real and believe in giving equal respect to women with dignity. They are raising their voices on many platforms and playing a huge part in making this society a better place for their sisters, mothers, daughters, and also every other woman. In this motorway incident, Dolphin Police came to the rescue of the woman and saved their lives. They helped her to contact her family and provided enough safety to the victims.

We women have been scared to exist and we are waiting for the day predators are afraid in the same way. The day they are afraid of even accidentally looking at a woman because of the consequences they will have to suffer. We pray to have more men like CPO Faisalabad Sohail Ahmed in our Police and Judiciary system.

Read more: The Plight of Women In Pakistan

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