LAHORE: Lahore police have registered eight cases of rape against different suspects who used coercion, blackmail and lure of well-paid job to sexually assault the victims, including a staff nurse, a housemaid and a teenage girl.

These incidents of sexual violence against women and girls were reported to police within the last 48 hours in different parts of the city, including Defence, Green Town, Sabzazar, Nawankot and Raiwind.

As per survivors and their families, despite registration of cases the suspects have been hurling life threats at them, to pressurise them into withdrawing complaints.

According to some reports, Punjab has been a tough province to live, especially for the working women, due to high incidence of sexual violence and harassment at workplace.

Around a year ago, the then Punjab Home Minister Atta Tarar had declared an “emergency” amid rising incidents of sexual abuse against women and children, saying some four to five women were being raped daily across the province. However, despite the alarm raised by the ex-minister, the situation did not improve with regard to safety of working women.

In an incident reported in the limits of Factory Area police, a man repeatedly raped a staff nurse of a private hospital, and blackmailed her for money.

The suspect lured the nurse some six month back by offering her a handsome salary, and took her to a house in Ghazi Road area on the pretext of “taking care of a patient”, where he served her tea spiked with some strong tranquiliser. When she fell unconscious, the suspect allegedly raped her.

She further told the police that the suspect made videos of the heinous act, threatening to upload the clips on social media if she reported the mater to police.

The complainant said the suspect had also been extorting gold jewellery and mounts up to Rs0.3 million, from her on different occasions through blackmail, pushing her on the verge of committing suicide.

However, on the advice of a female cousin, the woman reported the matter to police which lodged a case against the suspect on Friday and launched investigations.

Similarly, in Defence area, a married housemaid told the police that a suspect lured her to a house for a “job” against an attractive salary package and raped her, made video of the act and then blackmailed her for money. She said that she got pregnant and as the matter came into the knowledge of her husband, he kicked her out.

The police registered a case against the suspect.

In another incident, a suspect kidnapped a 14-year-old girl from Muzaffargarh, brought her to Lahore and allegedly raped her.

In Quaid-e-Azam Industrial area, some men gang raped a girl who had come from Renala Khurd to seek a job. The suspect and his two accomplices promised her a job, took her to a flat where they allegedly raped, she told the police.

Similarly, a suspect allegedly raped a girl in Sabzazar area and a woman was gang raped in South Cantonment police limits.

Another woman was allegedly raped in Green Town area by a suspect.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2023

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