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Investigators Blame the Rape Survivor for Gang Rape; Protest in Pakistan

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Pakistan sees an outrage and protests amongst people after a woman was gang-raped in front of her children when her car broke down the highway.

The police seemed to blame the victim in the gang-rape case as she was travelling alone at night without a male companion. The woman ran out of fuel, during the halfway to her destination. She called the police and relatives for help but, before anyone could come, two men broke the windows of her car. Dragged her and two children out, attacked her multiple times in front of the children, stealing all her belongings, including Jewellery, cards, and cash.

 

Fifteen people have been arrested in Lahore for having connections with the gang-rape. The incident took place around 1.30 am by the side of a motorway.

The Police Investigator, Umar Sheikh, told in his statement to the media that the woman shouldn’t have travelled alone at night. Also stating that no one in the Pakistani society would allow their female members of the family to travel alone late at night. He blamed the victim that even if she was on it, she should have taken a route that was safer, making sure that the car had enough fuel for travelling.

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People carry signs against a gang rape that occurred along a highway and to condemn violence against women and girls, during a protest in Karachi, Pakistan September 12, 2020. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Protesters are not satisfied with the probe and calling for the sacking of the lead police investigator [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]
As per the sources, the rape survivor is a resident of France. “She mistook that Pakistani society is just as safe as France.” Said Umar Sheikh.

The Police Officer’s, stereotyping comments reflected the narrow-mindedness of a much-larger section that still prevails in Pakistan. The ones who do not hesitate to blame a woman even after she has been a victim of such a heinous crime like rape.

The heart-wrenching incident came just a day after the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 5-year-old girl child in Karachi.

“The investigator’s comment was unacceptable. Nothing can ever justify the crime of rape.” The Minister of Human Rights, Shireen Mazari, said in her statement. 

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In retaliation to the statement, protests were planned across Pakistan and Umar Sheikh’s resignation was demanded by Women’s Activists.

Protesters in Lahore demonstrating after the gang rape (DW/T. Shahzad)
Protesters in Lahore demonstrating after the gang rape (Credit: DW/T. Shahzad)

Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter condemning the act, and also made statements of immediate arrests of the criminals. He even told the media that the entire case is in his hand, observed by him every second and the justice shall be delivered soon to the rape victim.

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