MUZAFFARGARH: The family of the girl who had committed self-immolation on March 13 in an alleged gang-rape case have warned of committing ‘collective self-immolation’ against the verdict of the sessions court which has acquitted all the four accused in the case.
Talking to the media, the family, including deceased girl’s mother, said they would not appeal against the sessions court verdict. She said she was punished for approaching Dr Tahirul Qadri and joining his sit-in in Islamabad where she appeared on the podium with him and appealed for justice.
She said they would seek justice from God and the whole family would commit suicide by burning themselves outside the Bait Meer Hazar police station, Jatoi tehsil, where their daughter had committed self-immolation.
The 17-year-old girl, a college student, had set herself ablaze outside the police station, in protest against the police which, she alleged, had favoured the accused during the investigation, resulting in their bail. She had received burns and died at Nishtar Hospital, Multan.
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the incident and held proceedings of the case before ordering the Multan district and sessions court to hear the case.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had ordered arrest of policemen under the terrorism charges for negligence in the case. He had also visited the deceased girl’s house, ordered an inquiry into the matter by forming a team under Assistant Inspector General Special Branch Muhammad Amlesh.
Multan District and Sessions Court judge Bahadur Ali had withheld the decision on Thursday but announced it at night under strict security. He announced acquitting all the four accused.
The police officials, including Sadar circle DSP Asghar, DSP Abdul Latif, SHO Idrees, SHO Shahid and investigation officer Rana Zulfiqar, who were accused of negligence were also acquitted.
FLOOD: The water level in the Chenab had a sharp surge due to heavy rains in the last three days, officials told Dawn on Friday.
Irrigation EXEN Rana Afzal said water flow in the river was 120,000 cusecs and the department had made all emergency arrangements to cope with flood situation.
The overflowing water has inundated one kilometre area along the river.
The locals said the irrigation officials had failed to plug a breach and did not make supporting embankment in Rangpur, Muradabad and Langer Sarai.
DCO Hafiz Shaukat Ali said almost 500,000 cusec water would cross the district but according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) 700,000 cusec water would be in Muzaffargarh in the next four days.
When Dawn visited some embankments on Friday where unmanned camps were seen with no official present to monitor the flood.
A local man said that they had seen officials at the embankment on Thursday when some high level officials visited the site. He said the government had not issued any warning to them so far and all the residents were relying on their own judgment regarding flooding.
The DCO visited Alipur to see the flood situation with irrigation teams.
Talking to Dawn, the DCO said the Chenab had capacity to accommodate 500,000 cusecs water that would cross the district in next five days. He said he had asked the departments concerned and local population to remain alert.
Published in Dawn, September 6th , 2014