Sexual assault cases

August 18, 2019

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FORTY-FIVE girls preyed upon in the space of two years in a living, bustling town — for the umpteenth time, another abduction-and-assault case, reported from Rawalpindi, has unveiled the demons that lurk unchecked in our midst. The alleged perpetrators are a man, with knowledge of IT, and his wife of two years. The two would reportedly lure young girls to their home where the man would rape the hostages and his wife film the act. It took a courageous student to break the silence earlier this month and set the police in pursuit of the husband-wife team. The investigators are as yet unsure of the motive. After the man’s confession, the police effort to get more victims to record their statements has hit a blank. They say they do not have the technology to analyse laptops and other gadgets that have been used. The police lacking the required equipment in this day and age, and having to call the FIA for help, is simply absurd.

It is a rather sad reflection on our primary line of defence against all and any kind of crime. A force so lacking in resources can hardly inspire feelings of security among those the police are charged with protecting. Not just that, it seems that whereas the absence of new tools to perform police functions is generally a worrisome issue, the force is fast forgetting something which it once was quite good at: monitoring what went around in a neighbourhood through its officials and net of informers. It was the 45th girl who spoke up and brought the serial crime to an end in this case. There would have been more victims had she not broken the silence. Those on watch and guard duties seemingly had no way of seeing anything suspicious going on. This is a very scary picture. We have had Kasur earlier and now we have Rawalpindi’s name being flashed across TV screens. How many more such episodes will it take to get the officials to shed their apathy?

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019