Pakistan’s apex court takes suo motu notice of revenge rape on panchayat’s orders

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Revenge Rape Case

By Muhammad Luqman
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has taken suo motu notice of the sexual assault of a teenage girl, which reportedly took place on the orders of a panchayat in the Muzaffarabad area of central Pakistan Multan district.
The chief justice took notice after media reports highlighted the incident on Wednesday, ordering the inspector general of Punjab police to submit a report.
Police have so far arrested 25 members of the panchayat, including four women, for ordering the rape a 16-year-old girl.
The revenge rape reminds of the case of Mukhtaran Mai who was raped on the orders of punchayat or village’s elders council in 2002 after her brother reportedly raped a girl in Muzaffargarh district.
According to the police, the panchayat gave the orders as a punishment after girl’s brother, currently in police custody, was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.
The Muzaffarabad police had registered an FIR under Sections 310A and 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code (giving a woman in marriage to settle a criminal liability and abetting a crime) against 27 nominated suspects who had allegedly ordered the rape.
Two men, including victim’s brother (the primary accused) who allegedly raped for revenge, are yet to be arrested, police said. The two men who organised the panchayat have also been arrested.
According to media reports, Initial investigation has revealed that the panchayat comprised family members of the alleged rapists, said DSP Shahida Nasreen of the Violence Against Women Centre (VAWC), where the first FIR was registered.
Both the alleged rapists and victims are part of the same extended family.

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