KARACHI, Dec 3: The Pakistan Dalit Solidarity Network (PDSN) — a network of 30 organisations supporting rights of the marginalised groups, particularly minorities and scheduled castes — condemned the murder of a young scheduled caste woman in the Umerkot district by a man who is alleged to have subjected her to sexual assault earlier.

The association urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu action so that the culprit was caught and punished and victims got justice.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, PDSN Secretary Zulfiqar Shah said that had the rapist been tried and punished the murder of the young woman belonging to religious minority community’s scheduled caste, Kaku Kolhi, had not occurred. He said if action was not taken even after the murder, her sister might also have to face the same fate.

He explained that the young woman along with her sister, Nellan, had allegedly been raped in October in Umerkot district by the sons of a local landlord. While an FIR was registered and the culprits were briefly detained, the Shadi Pali police later released them under the guise of compromise.

On Nov 28, Ms Kolhi was on her way back home along with her mother and the man nominated in the FIR for her rape shot at her in front of her mother, saying as to how a “Kolhi girl could go to police against us”.

Dr Sono Khanghrani, a PDSN member, said that hardly any action was taken in the rape case of dalit women perhaps due to their low social status.

The PDSN declared this murder a failure of the law-enforcement agencies and state mechanism to protect dalit women.

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