MIRPURKHAS: Amid a street protest and sit-in by several hundred outraged members of the Rajput community and residents of Naokot town, the area police on Monday carried out a raid on a house to recover two women, aged 19 and 14, kidnapped by more than 20 men a day earlier.

The women told the police that they were subjected to torture and criminal assault by several of the kidnappers.

Police and protesting villagers told local reporters that about two dozen men, some of them carrying firearms, broke into a house in Nafees Nagar, ransacked the furniture and fixtures present inside, collected cash and other valuables and kidnapped the two women, one of them married, at gunpoint on late Sunday evening.

They said most of the intruders belonged to the Tungri clan and had come from the nearby Hanif Rajput village.

Victims recovered in police raid, claim having been raped by several men

The incident agonised the local Rajput community and several hundred of its members took to the nearby section of the Naokot-Mirpurkhas road. Demanding immediate recovery of the kidnapped women and arrest of the culprits, they raised slogans against the area police and attackers. They also lit bonfire in the middle of the road and held a sit-in causing disruption in the movement of vehicular traffic for several hours.

In the meantime, Naokot police with the help of informers, carried out a raid on a house, purportedly belonging to Hayat Tungri, in Nafees Nagar and recovered both the women from the guest room (autaq).

The women were escorted to the Nafees Nagar police post before they were taken to the Naokot police station, where they narrated their ordeal. Later, they were sent to the town’s rural health centre for a medical examination as they claimed that they were physically tortured and subjected to criminal assault by several of the kidnappers.

A case of armed attack, looting and kidnapping was registered at the Naokot police station against 20 unknown suspects on the complaint of the women’s close relative, Ali Raza.

Sources in the area police said some of the suspects had been picked up, but their names were not disclosed till Monday night.

The Jhuddo DSP and SHO visited Nafees Nagar and Hanif Rajput village to collect first-hand information. The DSP issued necessary directives to the area police and persuaded the protesters to disperse peacefully.

The recovered women were likely to be produced in the local court on Tuesday (today).

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2022

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