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Gang-rape: Jirga chief surrenders

July 07, 2002

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MULTAN, July 6: The head of the Jirga that had ordered the gang-rape of a woman at the Meerwala village late last month surrendered to the police at the offices of a local Urdu daily on Saturday.

Faiz Bakhsh arrived at the newspaper’s offices at about 12.30pm. When he identified himself, the staff called the superintendent of police of Multan city. The police reached there at about 5.30pm.

Talking to reporters, Faiz Bakhsh claimed that he was against the verdict of the gang-rape. He pleaded that his position was also clear from the contents of the FIR lodged by the gang-rape victim.

Referring to the FIR, Faiz Bakhsh said that he had requested the other Jirga members and the gathering of the Mastoi tribesmen to pardon the Shakoor family as the boy’s sister had already tendered apology ‘for the act of her brother’.

He said the whole gathering was witness that he was weeping when Khaliq and others criminally assaulted the woman.

Faiz Bakhsh further claimed that until the other day he was ignorant of the attention the gang-rape had drawn here and abroad because he left for Northern Areas the next day of the incident.

He alleged that the police had arrested five of his servants without their involvement at any level in the incident. He said that of the 11 men arrested, only he was a member of the Jirga and the rest had nothing to do with the case.

The DSP of Kotwali, Mirza Ramzan Beg, had come to the daily’s offices to arrest Faiz Bakhsh.