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November 14, 2017



Girl stripping incident: Civil society activists start raising voice for teenage girl

Girl stripping incident: Civil society activists start raising voice for teenage girl

PESHAWAR: The women rights and civil society organisations have started raising voice against the alleged stripping of a teenage girl and parading her naked in a village in Dera Ismail Khan.

The incident took place on October 27 when the girl Sharifa Bibi was allegedly stripped and paraded publicly to humiliate her family.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission on the Status of Women (KPCSW) condemned the incident after a wait of 17 days and called for support and justice to the victim.

An official of the commission said the case had been taken up with Syed Fida Hussain, Regional Police Officer (RPO) of Dera Ismail Khan.

The commission asked the provincial government to make sure the accused were punished and the victim provided justice.

The commission raised concern over the plight of women in the province.

It said the incident had left negative impact on society at regional, national and international level. “We must ensure that such negative practices are not repeated,” the commission stated in its statement.

As per the latest information, nine persons were accused of the crime and eight have been arrested. The main culprit, Sajawal, is still on the run.

The police claimed that four of the accused had confessed to the crime while a special team had been dispatched to Karachi to arrest Sajawal.

Salma Malik from Dera Ismail Khan, who is chief executive of In Search of Justice (ISJ), a welfare organisation, was the first to highlight the issue and seek justice for the victim.

“I met the girl and her mother after the incident at their village Garahmat,” she told The News on Monday. She said the mother and daughter were scared to share the details of the incident.

“I gave confidence to Sharifa Bibi, who then narrated her ordeal,” Salma Malik said.

“As per my routine I was fetching water from a nearby spring along with fellow villagers and on return about nine armed men seized me and started dragging me. Without knowing my crime, the men first tore my shirt and then removed my clothes forcibly. I was crying for help but no one came to rescue me,” Salma Malik quoted Sharifa Bibi as saying.

The orphaned girl said she was paraded in the streets for two hours and then taken to a hujra where she was confined.

The girl said she was humiliated as her brother had gifted a cellphone to a girl and talked to her by phone. She said the family of the girl was her family’s rival. Her mother Khursheed Bibi said her son was punished for this act some two years back and as per the decision of Panchayat, whose members were Moni Khanan, Station House Officer Ashraf and Khalid Khan, they had paid Rs300,000 to the girl’s family.

“I had not thought that after the passage of two years my daughter would be humiliated,” she said.

She claimed the rivals wanted to charge them in the first information report at the police station as they gave her daughter’s torn clothes to another girl to implicate them in a false case.

Salma Malik said she was determined to provide moral and legal support to the poor family and would pursue the case to bring the accused to justice.

Supreme Court lawyer Qazi Muhammad Anwar has also announced to provide free legal assistance to the victim. “I will plead her case,” Qazi Muhammad Anwar told The News on Monday. He said that he would also file an application for transfer of the case from Dera Ismail Khan to Peshawar.

As per the official communiqué, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, on November 11, visited Dera Ismail Khan and directed the RPO Syed Fida Hussain to quickly complete investigation into the case.

The RPO informed the IGP that he was facing political pressure in the case.