A district and sessions court in Islamabad indicted on Tuesday seven persons, including prime accused Usman Mirza, for allegedly harassing a couple in the capital's E-11 sector.
Besides Mirza, charges have been framed against co-accused Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Rehan, Umar Bilal Marwat, Mohib Bangash and Farhan Shaheen.
At the hearing, the charge sheet was read out to the accused, following which they pleaded not guilty.
The court then directed the prosecution to present evidence against the accused and issued notices to the prosecution's witnesses for recording their statements.
It adjourned the hearing till October 12.
The case had surfaced when a video of four persons holding a couple at gunpoint, forcing them to strip and then beating them up had gone viral on social media in July.
Initially, an FIR was registered under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force against 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 Pakistan Penal Code on July 6.
Later, sections pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement were also included in the FIR.
Revelations in the challan
The challan in the case was submitted to the court earlier this month and revealed shocking details about how the victims were forced to have sex in front of the accused persons and how the girl was tortured to perform a nude dance and filmed.
According to the challan, Mirza and his accomplices had forced the couple to perform sex so they could film it in order to blackmail and extort money from them.
Referring to the statement of the girl recorded under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before a magistrate, the challan said the accused had threatened her of gang rape in case she did not perform sex with her friend in front of them.
“I was frightened because of their threats; they tortured me and forcibly removed the trouser of my friend,” the statement of the girl said, adding: “The accused persons then forced her to perform a nude dance in front of them."
“Upon my refusal, he [Mirza] started beating me. He slapped me and forced me to walk nude in front of his friends,” the challan cited the statement of the girl as saying.
It said the accused took pleasure in her nude dance and also snatched Rs6,000 from the young man, and added that after the incident, the accused had started blackmailing and extorting money from the couple.