MUZAFFARABAD: A 23-year-old man was arrested for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl on Monday.

The suspect was arrested from his village after police recorded statements of the victim and her mother.

The alleged rape occurred in a village in the jurisdiction of Panjgran police station, on Friday evening shortly after the young victim entered the byre next to her house to tether a goat, said SHO Mir Muzammil.

Panjgran lies approximately 35 kilometers northeast of Muzaffarabad along the main Neelum valley road on the left bank of Neelum River while the village is located across the river.

The SHO quoting the victim’s statement to police said the suspect who lived next door to the victim’s house, followed her in the byre and allegedly raped her there.

The victim resisted and shouted but there was no one to rescue, as her mother was not at home at that time, he added.

The suspect threatened to kill her if she narrated the incident to anyone at home or elsewhere, the SHO informed, quoting her statement.

The mother found out about the incident when upon returning home the following evening, she discovered her daughter in pain and asked her the reason, he added. On Monday afternoon, a police official Chanzeb Kiani brought the victim to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan hospital, Muzaffarabad for medical examination which, according to a provisional report, established that she had been raped.

“The suspect, who quit school in grade five, had memorised the Quran from a seminary in Bahria Town Islamabad and had been in Karachi acquiring religious education from a seminary since the last six years. He came home two months ago,” Mr Muzammil said.

Although the suspect denied having committed any such offence, preliminary grilling substantiated that he was lying, he added.

“We have booked him under section 10(2) of Zina Act and section 452 of Criminal Procedure Code and will produce him before a judicial magistrate on Tuesday for his physical remand,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2020