Crime & Justice

Police make arrest in rape case that caused outrage in Pakistan

Islamabad, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- The police on Monday arrested one of two people accused of gang rape of a woman in front of her children in a case that has sparked outrage across Pakistan.

The incident occurred last week as the vehicle in which the victim was traveling ran out of fuel, leaving them stranded on the road.

Usman Buzdar, chief minister of the eastern province of Punjab – where the incident occurred -, tweeted that one of the fugitives has been arrested, his DNA had matched with the traces found after the crime, and that a confession had been obtained.

He added that the security forces were now on the hunt for the other suspect, whom they expected would be caught soon, something that the Punjab police also confirmed on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the involvement of one of the first suspects – whose photograph grabbed media headlines and who surrendered on Sunday to the police denying his involvement in the gang rape – remains unclear.

The incident occurred on the night of on Sep.9 on the Lahore-Sheikhupura Road in Punjab, where the woman was stranded after her car ran out of gas.

The assailants took advantage of the situation and assaulted and raped woman in front of her children before robbing her.

The incident soon caused widespread outrage across Pakistan. The situation further aggravated after a senior police officer of Lahore – the capital of Punjab -, Umer Sheikh, appeared on television and, after condemning the crime, questioned how the woman’s family had allowed her to go out at night.

“No one in our society should allow our sisters and daughters traveling alone so late,” Sheikh said, according to the local newspaper The Express Tribune.

As the search continued for the perpetrators, on Sep. 12, hundreds of people, mostly women, took to the streets in different cities of the country to protest against what they described as patriarchal violence against women.

The protesters, among other things, called for the authorities to ensure justice in cases of abuses, with effective investigations and rapid judicial processes, and police accountability instead of blaming women based on common “myths.” EFE-EPA


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