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Teenage girl kidnapped, allegedly raped in Karachi's Mehmoodabad

November 26, 2018

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Medical examination of the alleged rape victim delayed due to non-availability of female medico-legal officer. — AP/File
Medical examination of the alleged rape victim delayed due to non-availability of female medico-legal officer. — AP/File

A teenage girl was allegedly kidnapped and raped in Karachi's Mehmoodabad area earlier this month, police said on Monday.

The girl, who is around 16 years old, was kidnapped from near the army graveyard in Chanesar Goth on November 11.

Her family lodged a kidnapping case at Mehmoodabad police station and police subsequently managed to recover the girl from Qayyumabad neighbourhood of Korangi. A suspect has also been arrested in this regard.

The investigation officer (IO) of the case, Mohammed Moin, told Dawn that police suspected that the girl had been kidnapped "with the ulterior motive of subjecting her to sexual assault".

The officer said police brought the girl to the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) for a medical examination to ascertain whether she had been raped or not.

The IO said he approached the police surgeon to arrange a female medico-legal officer (MLO) for the medical examination, but she [the officer] appeared reluctant to visit the hospital for assessment of the alleged rape victim.

Dr Sheeraz Ali Khowaja, the additional police surgeon at JPMC, while talking to Dawn corroborated that in rape cases, the victims' families and IOs suffered immense difficulties due to an acute shortage of lady MLOs at government hospitals of the city.

The official said he has written several letters to the authorities concerned, drawing their attention towards a lack of female doctors for post-mortem and medical examinations of women but so far no concrete steps have been taken by the health authorities to overcome this problem.

Dr Khowaja said Mehmoodabad police brought the teenage girl to the hospital for a medical examination at 3:00pm on Monday but her examination could not be conducted till the evening as no female MLO was available for the purpose.

Since the beginning of 2018, there has been a marked upsurge in the reporting of sexual abuse cases across Pakistan. The brutal rape and murder of Zainab Ansari in Kasur earlier this year in particular shocked the entire country, with #JusticeforZainab becoming the rallying cry in a nationwide drive to end violence against children.