LAHORE: Narowal police have unearthed a gang involved in filming women picnicking along with their families at the Bambanwala-Ravi-Bedian (BRB) Canal and blackmailing them later with threats to upload ‘objectionable’ material on social media to mint money or to exploit them sexually.

With ‘several suspects and nominated accused’ in custody, police said they were after some other accused. The number of nominated accused is 10.

In a couple of FIRs, complainants said the suspects approached their houses and showed them objectionable videos of their daughters and other relatives and demanded money.

The families paid them money on the condition that they would delete the videos but they did not. Rather, they approached the families time and again and demanded money.

An affected family member told Dawn since the accused enjoyed strong political backing, rape sections had not been added to the FIRs. He claimed the accused had raped a number of girls who went to the canal for picnic with friends.

Narowal District Police Officer (DPO) Naveed Malik told Dawn that the police had not received any complaint and investigated the matter after getting videos from social media.

He said the police had approached families of some victims and motivated them to lodge complaints to start action against the accused.

He said the police had first identified the victims and then traced the accused. He said some suspects had also been identified and the police would arrest them soon.

The DPO said the police had recovered objectionable videos from the arrested accused and would also add rape charges during investigation. He said some of the videos were old.

Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2024

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