PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday expressed displeasure at the police’s failure to arrest a prime accused in a DI Khan girl stripping case for two years and summoned the deputy inspector general of police and district police officer of the area for explanation on the matter.
Justice Ikramullah Khan and Justice Mussarat Hilali fixed Nov 20 for the next hearing asking the two police officials to appear before them to explain why the prime accused, Sajawal, hasn’t been arrested.
A teenage girl was stripped and paraded naked in her village in Dera Ismail Khan district.
PHC displeased with long delay in arrest of prime accused
A high court bench had disposed of a petition filed by the girl on Nov 22, 2017, asking the IGP to submit the investigation progress report to the court’s Human Rights Cell on a regular basis for the examination of the chief justice.
In the petition, the girl had made several prayers to the court seeking protection, recovery of the alleged video of the incident, and the arrest of prime accused Sajawal.
From time to time, the high court heard the case but Sajawal continued to be at large.
An officer of DI Khan police told the court that efforts were being made to arrest Sajawal.
The relevant DSP said of the nine accused, eight had been arrested but Sajawal, the mastermind of the incident, was at large.
He said the accused’s computerised national identity card had already been blocked by Nadra, while his name had been placed on the exit control list.
The girl had claimed that around two years ago, the prime suspect had blamed her brother for handing over a cellphone to a female member of their family and despite his denial on oath, the panchayat (jirga)had ordered her brother to pay a fine of Rs300,000 to them.
She added that despite the decision of the panchayat, the accused led by Sajawal had paraded her naked in the village on Oct 27, 2017.
In the statement recorded with the magistrate, she had claimed that she had gone in the morning to fetch water from a pond along with some women and while returning, the nine accused forcibly ripped her clothes apart and when the accompanying women tried to cover her, the accused threw it away.
She added that initially, the local police didn’t cooperate with her family and even refused to register FIR but later they did it after the residents protested.
Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2019