Court accepts charge sheet in train gang rape case

Published June 28, 2022
Volunteers picking up trash on Clifton beach on Monday. The activity was organised by the Pakistan Red Crescent-Sindh.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Volunteers picking up trash on Clifton beach on Monday. The activity was organised by the Pakistan Red Crescent-Sindh.—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Police on Monday filed a charge sheet against five staffers of a privately run train for facilitating and raping a female passenger in.

The Railway police had booked five employees of Multan-Karachi Bahauddin Zakaria Express for allegedly sexually assaulting the 25-year-old victim on May 27.

The incident had sparked an outrage on social media criticising the Pakistan Railways authorities for failing to have in place safety measures for the female passengers nationwide.

On Monday, the investigating officer, Inspector Habibullah Khattak, filed an investigation report under Section 173 (Report of police officer) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

In the charge sheet, the IO stated that in the wake of circumstantial, forensic and medical evidence and statements of the witnesses, recorded under Section 161 (Examination of witnesses by potted) of the CrPC, it was proved that the three ticket checkers had subjected the victim to rape by taking turns in an air-conditioned compartment.

It further stated that the victim had also identified the trio before a judicial magistrate, who had also recorded her statement under Section 164 (Power to record statements and confessions) of the CrPC, wherein she rightly picked out them as the accused who had subjected her to sexual assault.

He added that the reports of DNA matching of the three men conducted at the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory, Lahore, were also found positive in respect of the trio.

The IO held that the three men should be tried for committing an offence punishable under Section 376(b) (punishment for rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

The report further stated that the victim had also identified a train manager and a fourth ticket checker, and testified that they had allegedly facilitated the trio in commissioning of the offence.

Judicial Magistrate (South) Shahnawaz accepted the charge sheet and forwarded the same to the District and Sessions Judge (South) for passing appropriate orders as to initiating trial against the accused persons, the IO told Dawn.

The IO listed as many as 67 witnesses, including doctors, a judicial magistrate, trains guards, other staffers and officer in charges.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2022

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