Three cases of attempted rape have been filed over the past 24 hours in different police stations in Faisalabad, DawnNewsTV reported on Sunday. The victims in all three cases are children.
According to a first information report lodged in City Tandianwala police station, a man was caught while attempting to assault a four-year-old girl, who had gone out to buy candy from a nearby shop. The victim's parents had started looking for her when she did not return home along with some other residents.
The FIR, dated September 12, stated that the parents heard their daughter screaming and crying and found a man trying to assault her in a baithak. When the parents tried to rescue their daughter, two unknown men came and threatened them against reporting the incident. The unidentified suspects also abused and beat the victim's mother.
In Chak number 547, a resident saw a man trying to rape his 15-year-old daughter in the fields. According to the FIR, the victim's father had gotten up for prayers in the morning when he heard his daughter screaming. She had gone into the fields to relieve herself when a man tried to rape her and escaped when her father came.
Another incident took place on August 31 in New Civil Lines, where a shopkeeper was trying to rape a nine-year-old boy and was found by two residents who heard the victim screaming. The child had gone to the shop to buy biscuits, the FIR stated.
The victim's father had submitted a complaint on the day of the incident, but police lodged the FIR today.
The country is rocked by protests against rape and sexual assault crimes after a woman was gang-raped last week on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway in front of her children.
The victim, in her early 30s and a resident of Lahore’s Defence Housing Society, was stuck on the motorway with her two children at around 1am after her car ran out of fuel. As she tried to arrange for help, two men approached her and took her and her children (below eight) into the nearby fields at gunpoint.
Once in the field, the attackers raped the woman in front of her children. By the time a police party and a relative the woman had called arrived at the scene, the attackers had fled, taking with them the cash and valuables the victim was carrying with her.
As details emerged of the gang-rape, protests erupted in several parts of the country on Saturday. The indifferent and unhelpful remarks by Lahore's police chief added fuel to the fire.
CCPO Umer Sheikh on Thursday invited criticism when he pontificated that the victim had failed to take due precautions before setting off on her journey. According to the Lahore police chief’s logic, the woman could have avoided being at the wrong place at the wrong time. He said she should have taken the more populated GT Road to Gujranwala instead of going via motorway, and that she ought to have checked how much fuel her car had before setting off.
During yesterday's presser, Chief Minister Buzdar said the IGP had issued a show-cause notice to the CCPO and sought a written reply within seven days.
“When we receive the CCPO’s written reply, we will take legal action accordingly,” he added.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the Aurat March protests — in Islamabad, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and Karachi — set forth five demands including an end to violence, affirmative steps by the government to uphold rights and ensure justice, accountability of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umer Sheikh and any other official who blames the victim, structural and procedural reforms and effective and transparent investigations by the criminal justice system.