ISLAMABAD: The Special Joint Investigation Team (SJIT) set up to probe the 13-year-old housemaid torture case obtained CCTV footage to investigate the incident and establish facts.

Sources in the police told Dawn that the SJIT had obtained CCTV footage from the Safe City, bus terminal at Chungi No 26 and District Headquarters Hospital Sargodha and was examining them.

Earlier, the accused wife of a civil judge appeared before the SJIT at the office of the deputy inspector general of the police operation on Sunday and recorded her statement, the sources said, adding that she contradicted the content of the FIR and claimed that they were fabricated.

The accused said the content of the FIR in which it was stated that the housemaid’s family came over to her house in Zartaj Housing Society, met her and then took the girl to Sargodha was false, the sources said, adding that the judge’s wife alleged that she herself took the girl to the bus terminal at Chungi No 26 and handed her over to her family.

Accused alleges girl’s injuries were self inflicted; questions FIR’s content

In this regard, she also produced the CCTV footage during the hearing of her bail application in the court of additional district and sessions judge Islamabad, the sources said.

They further said the SJIT proceedings expressed displeasure over the police’s failure to get the CCTV footage, which the accused easily obtained. However, the footage produced by the accused was edited and contained recordings which were in her favour.

About the content of the FIR which was challenged by the accused, the SJIT examined the case file, including supplementary statements. The content of one of the supplementary statements said that the family asked the employer of the housemaid to drop her at a bus terminal, whereas the FIR stated that she was taken by her family from the house of the accused.

According to the sources, the SJIT interrogated the accused during which she denied torturing the housemaid and claimed that she had asked her several times to go to her house and that she would drop her there, but every time the girl refused and even started crying whenever the issue was discussed.

She further told the SJIT that the housemaid refused to go to her house, saying that her mother beat her up.

When asked about the girl’s injuries, the accused claimed that they were self inflicted, some of which were caused after she hit herself against the wall.

The SJIT also found that the accused was hiding facts, and during cross questioning, her claims were found suspicious.

The court sent the accused to jail on judicial remand when she was produced to seek her physical remand, the sources said, adding that as per practice, a woman accused could only be given into police custody on physical remand in cases related to terrorism and murder when the investigators want to make recovery from them.

The sources said interrogation was almost complete and that the SJIT was in the process of collecting evidence and examining them.

Meanwhile, the housemaid was shifted to the ward from the ICU after her condition improved, the sources said, adding that the investigators were hopeful that she would be able to travel by next week.

After getting doctors’ permission she will be brought to Islamabad and produced in the court of a magistrate to record her statement.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2023

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