PESHAWAR: A mystery has surrounded the alleged abduction of an 18-year-old sister of a female polio worker here in Sheikhan village.

The girl was reportedly taken away by unidentified people on Friday morning when she was accompanying her sister during a vaccination campaign and was later found semiconscious at a local cemetery.

The police said Sheikhan village falling in the limits of the Badabher police station bordered Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency.

Police insist medical report rules out assault, poisoning

However, the police said the medical report ruled out the sexual assault and poisoning.

The girl, too, told the police that she didn’t remember being assaulted.

The police said the incident took place at around 11am on Friday when the girl was accompanying her polio worker sister during a door-to-door vaccination campaign.

The girl told the police that during the campaign, her sister entered a house to administer anti-polio drops to children and she stayed outside and that she lost consciousness when an unidentified man put his hand over her mouth from behind.

She added that when she regained her senses, she found herself to be in a local cemetery.

In a statement recorded with the police, the girl claimed that she neither knew who took her to the cemetery nor did she recall any sexual assault.

A local resident told Dawn that both the places, where the girl was picked up from and where she was found, was a mile away from each other.

He said the girl was taken away from the Babu Mills areas when she was marking an electric pole outside the house where her sister had gone to vaccinate children.

The girl was found in a semiconscious condition at around 11pm from the graveyard and was taken to the Lady Reading Hospital. She regained her senses at around 3:30am.

However, both LRH gynecologists and psychiatrists said the girl was not sexually assaulted.

Peshawar SSP (operations) Javed Iqbal told reporters that the family didn’t report the incident and that the police took action on it on their own after learning about it from other sources.

About the security of polio workers, he said the area, where the incident took place, was ‘less sensitive’ and that there was no individual security for every vaccination team.

He said the police had divided the areas into sensitive and less sensitive ones due to the shortage of personnel.

“In sensitive areas, individual polio teams are provided with security cover, while the police cordon off the less sensitive areas and patrol,” he said, adding that individual teams were not provided with security.

The Badhabar police registered an FIR against the unidentified people for ‘wrongful confinement, assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage the girl’s modesty, criminal intimidation and attempt to commit offence punishable with death under sections 342, 354, 506 and 511 of the Pakistan Penal Code’.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2018