Islamabad police add sections of rape, extortion to FIR against suspects in couple harassment case

Published July 12, 2021
Usman Mirza is one of six suspects arrested in the case so far.
— Photo via Twitter
Usman Mirza is one of six suspects arrested in the case so far. — Photo via Twitter

Islamabad Police, probing the couple harassment case, have incorporated further sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to the case including rape, sexual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement as the investigation progresses.

The incident had come to light with a video showing a group of men, led by Usman Mirza — the key suspect — holding a couple at gunpoint, forcing them to strip and then beating them up. Moreover, the suspects also abused the couple verbally and physically by doing vulgar acts.

The FIR of the case was registered on July 6 on behalf of sub-inspector Syed Asim Ghafar, after which some of the suspects were traced and arrested. The FIR said the incident took place within Golra police station limits at an apartment building in sector E-11/2.

The case was registered under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force to woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the PPC.

In the latest development, Islamabad Police Deputy Inspector General (Operations), Afzal Kausar, said in a statement that more sections of the PPC had been added to the case. These include Section 375-A, 375-D (rape), 384 (punishment for extortion), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 395 (punishment for dacoity); 496-A (enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a woman) and 377-B (sexual abuse).

DIG Kausar said six suspects have been detained in the case so far, while two are yet to be arrested.

He added that the statements of the couple have also been recorded.

During the presser, the DIG clarified that the new sections added to the FIR pertained to forcing the couple to indulge in an immoral act in front of everyone. "Some TV channels linked the new sections with confirmation of rape, which was a misinterpretation," he added. This suggests that the addition of rape charges to the case is linked to other videos recovered from the suspects.

The FIR, which was earlier registered, said "the video of the incident went viral on social media. in which five to six men can be seen keeping the victims in custody under gunpoint. The accused also stripped the man and the woman naked while threatening them." It added that the suspects were also performing "vulgar acts".

One clip of the video showed a group of men with weapons, led by Usman, threaten the man and woman with physical harm and force them to engage in sexual activity.

The officials had said scores of similar videos were recovered from the mobile phones of the suspects and were being examined to identify people abused by them. Preliminary investigations and videos retrieved from mobile phones of the suspects showed that it was not the first incident in the locality. Dozens of similar incidents had occurred in different residential complexes in the area.

The incident, which was highlighted on social media, had quickly become the top trend in the country with netizens calling for strict retribution to the main accused Usman Mirza.

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