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KARACHI: Gang-rape: exemplary punishment demanded

October 22, 2002

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KARACHI, Oct 21: A non-governmental organization of the US-based Pakistani doctors has urged the authorities to arrest all the perpetrators involved in the Ramaswami gang-rape case and to award them an exemplary punishment.

Dr Amna B. Buttar, representing the NGO — Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (Appna) — told a news conference at Karachi Press Club on Monday that it was even more unfortunate that the culprits were either police personnel or their relatives.

She said that Appna was shocked when the gang-rape report appeared in the press. She announced formation of the Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Women in Pakistan (Anna) with the aim of highlighting the issues related to the victimization of women and providing every possible assistance to the victims.

She invited people around the world, especially from Asia and North America, to join the organization and play their role in helping the women victims recover from their physical and psychological trauma.

Dr Buttar pledged Appna’s continued assistance to the individual victims and said that its ultimate goal was to bring about a social change in Pakistan that could restore basic human rights to the woman. She stressed on safety and security for everyone in society and said that nobody should be allowed to deprive others of this right.

She appreciated the courage demonstrated by the Ramaswami gang-rape victims in revealing the facts publicly and urged other such victims to come forward so that the culprits may be exposed and punished.

She said that her organization had approached the victim family soon after the tragedy and came to know that they were trying to move to some other place fearing further victimization by the perpetrators. The organization, she added, had raised Rs300,000 to help out the family. The cheques was handed over to the victims’ father at the press club on Monday.

Among those who also spoke on the occasion was Mr Ali A. Malik.