Deaf-mute teenager Komal was kidnapped by five men who gang-raped for 2months, after first being forcibly married to one of her rapists in March 2020 (click here).
BACA began to provide a solicitor to press Sandhu Police Station to actually begin an investigation after inital efforts were notably limited. Worse still during the nascent investigation reluctant police reported back to the parents that Komal was in a happy marriage of her own volition.
Later during the court process police brought Komal before her parents with a translator present, at which point the young girl broke down in tears and described her ordeal in great detail, at which point she was taken away from her abductors.
Police have been accused of bias and corruption after of the culprits were arrested and set free on bail within a week of the police investigation. Moreover, a further Muslim woman known to the family who was also involved in the kidnap was able to attain bail. Moreover, despite a rogue Imam having sanctioned the Islamic marriage without a sign language interpreter (claiming he had a basic understanding of the gestures made by Komal), police refused to add rape to the crime report and only listed kidnap.
At Lahore High Court Pakistan’s Central Investigation Agency agreed to take over responsibility of the case and to make sure it was fair and free from corruption, after pressure from BACA’s advocate for the family Sumaira Hussain.
However, to date, despite assurances from the Pak-CIA of a more thorough investigation there has been no significant advancement of the rape case for Komal.
Maria, assistant to Mr. Tariq Gill member of Provincial Assembly Punjab, spoke with BACA, she said:
“The challan (official police report) submitted to the court has no mention of the main culprits; Kashif Ghulam Rasool and his mother Raqia Bibi, we are very concerned by this.”
The case is currently being pursued in the court of Mr. Muhammad Jamshaid , Additional Sessions Judge Lahore.
Sumera Hussain counsel for Komal explained, she said:
“I have filed an application for the inclusion of Kashif and her mother firstly because Komal has already testified about their involvement in the crime through her statement under section 164 Criminal Code of Pakistan (CCP) – see footnotes.
“Secondly, Komal was retrieved from the illegal custody of Kashif and Raqia”
“Those who are the real culprits should be summoned and called to face the trial.
“The court has been beguiled for mentioning Azeem Jutt and others in the submitted Challan.”
Sumaira Hussain further explained,
“We have found that Nikahnama (Marriage Certificate) presented before the Honourable Court is illegal and not registered anywhere. Qari Muhammad Saeed, who constituted this marriage is notorious for forced conversions through solemnising under-age marriages.
“Last week an application for the dissolution of the marriage has been filed on these grounds.”
Dissolution of marriage in this case would definitely lead to the trial being carried out under section 376 Pakistan Penal Code. This law deals specifically with abduction and rape of women.
The court process has slowed down significantly due to Covid 19.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for BACA, said:
“In 2014 Muslim NGO created international news when they estimated that 700 Christian girls are kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic Marriage (click here).
“Many Christian groups these figures are conservative and that a much larger number of girls suffer such crime.
“Despite the efforts to curb this despicable crime by global humanitarian organisations the numbers seem to be increasing.”
Section 164 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
164. Recording of confessions and statements.
(1) Any Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate may, whether or not he has jurisdiction in the case, record any confession or statement made to him in the course of an investigation under this Chapter or under any other law for the time being in force, or at any time afterwards before the commencement of the inquiry or trial: Provided that no confession shall be recorded by a police officer on whom any power of a Magistrate has been conferred under any law for the time being in force.
(2) The Magistrate shall, before recording any such confession, explain to the person making it that he is not bound to make a confession and that, if he does so, it may be used as evidence against him; and the Magistrate shall not record any such confession unless, upon questioning the person making it, he has reason to believe that it is being made voluntarily.
(3) If at any time before the confession is recorded, the person appearing before the Magistrate states that he is not willing to make the confession, the Magistrate shall not authorise the detention of such person in police custody.
(4) Any such confession shall be recorded in the manner provided in section 281 for recording the examination of an accused person and shall be signed by the person making the confession; and the Magistrate shall make a memorandum at the foot of such record to the following effect:-” I have explained to (name) that he is not bound to make a confession and that, if he does so, any confession he may make may be used as evidence against him and I believe that this confession was voluntarily made. It was taken in my presence and hearing, and was read over to the person making it and admitted by him to be correct, and it contains a full and true account of the statement made by him.
(Signed) A. B. Magistrate”.
(5) Any statement (other than a confession) made under sub- section (1) shall be recorded in such manner hereinafter provided for the recording of evidence as is, in the opinion of the Magistrate, best fitted to the circumstances of the case; and the Magistrate shall have power to administer oath to the person whose statement is so recorded.
(6) The Magistrate recording a confession or statement under this section shall forward it to the Magistrate by whom the case is to be inquired into or tried.
|Pakistan Penal Code|
|Punishment for rape|