PHC dissatisfied with police investigation over the girl who paraded naked

PESHAWAR: With the main accused still at large, a superior court on Thursday expressed its dissatisfaction with the investigations conducted by the Dera Ismail Khan police in the case of a teenaged girl who had been paraded naked in Chodwan village.

A two-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) comprising Chief Justice Yahya Afridi and Justice Muhammad Ghazanfar Khan on Thursday reviewed a progress report submitted by the DI Khan police over its investigation into the case to the human rights cell of the court.

In the report, the court was told that they have arrested eight suspects but the main accused was still at large but efforts were being made to track him and arrest him. Moreover, the police report said that they had initiated the process of seizing any immovable property of the absconder and forwarded a case for the confiscation of 138 kanals of land under section 88 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to a judicial magistrate for approval.

Moreover, they said that they had recovered 10 mobile phones from a suspect who the victim had claimed had recorded the entire parade on his cell phone.

Police said that they had so far checked seven of the 10 mobile phones at the Forensic Science Laboratory in Peshawar but had failed to find any such video clips.

The reports further claimed that security had been provided to the victim and her family while preventative measures on a large scale have been taken for the protection of the victim’s family.

Moreover, police said that they had charged the 10 accused in the case under section 107/151 of CrPC and a challan has been submitted.

The court, though, declared the report — presented by the police deputy inspector general of police —as incomplete and directed the police to file a complete report by February 1. To track down the suspect, the court told the police to seek help from security agencies.

During Thursday’s hearing, senior lawyer Qazi Anwar — who was representing the victim’s mother and a social activist Rukhshanda Naaz, argued that the police have yet even arrested the main accused. Moreover, they claimed that while Chodwan police station SHO had recovered videos from one of the suspects in the case (who had filmed the incident), he has been reluctant to produce it before the court.

Earlier on November 22, 2017, the PHC had disposed of the writ petition filed by the victim with directions to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa inspector general of police to ensure that progress and investigation report in the case are filed fortnightly with the court’s human rights cell. The police were further directed to conduct thorough investigation into the case, arrest the main accused and provide complete security to the victim’s family.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2018.

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