Motorway gang-rape

16 Sep 2020

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YET another appalling incident involving the gang-rape of a woman on M-11 has happened in a long list of heinous crimes of child abuse, domestic violence, ‘honour’ killing and acid attacks.

Recently two children were found chained and malnourished at an apartment in Karachi. The stepmother was responsible for their condition but blamed the children as being naughty. She claimed that they would often run away which prompted her to keep them chained while she went to work.

No one cared to ask the children the reason for their behaviour. Obviously, that they wanted to escape the daily horrors they must have endured. No one provided them with medical aid and counselling. One can only imagine their anguish and despair, as on a court order they were handed back to their stepmother.

Earlier this year a child had been raped 100 times in a madressah and survived. After a few days no one heard about the boy anymore.

The Kasur mass rape case and many more rapes and murder of children and women even during the pandemic continued to grow unabated, and questions are being raised against a society where sheer savagery lurks behind a veil of piety and morality.

Parents are also to be blamed and should be held responsible for neglecting their children and should be punished. The Marwa case is one such example, where the inconsolable grandmother and father were seen on TV grieving. Who in their proper mind would allow a five-year old child to venture out unsupervised to a shop to buy biscuits?

The latest incident of the woman with her kids who was travelling on the motorway and met a horrible fate has caused a furore all over the country.

How dare anyone question the woman for travelling at an unearthly hour on a deserted motorway? Why can’t women travel at their convenience?

There may have been some personal reason, such as a domestic situation or simply a short getaway that may have prompted her to leave her home with the kids in such a hurry that she did not even check to see if the car had enough petrol.

Umbreen Rahman
Karachi

(2)

THIS is with reference to the rape trauma on M-11. What adds insult to injury is that many unfeeling people accuse the rape victim of being responsible for the sordid act.

Such uncaring people need to understand that when women especially girls hear of incidents like the one on the motorway, they feel traumatised. I know I’m not alone in thinking like this; every girl around me must be having the same thoughts.

Actually it is the social environment that is permitting sexual violence to be accepted and condoned, with the victim being blamed.

I would advise these misdirected misogynists that instead of advising women to change their appearance and behaviour to stay safe, men should be taught to respect women.

For this we need to reform societal behaviour. In addition to society mending its ways, it is the government that has an important role to play by ensuing swift justice to rapists.

Almas Indher
Panoakil, Sukkur

(3)

APROPOS the editorial ‘Blaming the victim’ (Sept 12). If one reads the statement of the Lahore police officer on the issue, one finds that what he has said is common sense, and that he has not blamed the victim.

After seeing the news on TV and reading the newspapers, a few questions arose in my mind as to why the lady had scheduled her journey for the night when she was travelling alone and why on earth she did not ensure she had enough fuel for the trip. It never occurred to me for a moment that I was blaming the victim when such questions arose in my mind. Such questions would have arisen in my mind even if the victim was from my family.

One’s right to travel at whatever time one chooses is not being questioned, but one is expected to take ordinary precautions before one undertakes some work or journey of any nature. The police officer did just that — he pointed out the errors of judgement on the part of the victim. This does not amount to blaming the victim.

As a matter of fact, the image of police is so low in our society — and for good reasons — that we see with suspicion each and every act of the police and attribute sinister motives to whatever they say or do.

Justice (retd) Salahuddin Mirza
Karachi

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020