A deaf and mute minor girl, belonging to a Christian household, was abducted and sexually assaulted in Lahore, Pakistan, but authorities only took notice after her crying mother’s video went viral online. The incident once again highlighted the atrocities minorities go through in the country and netizens are outraged.
A May 10 tweet posted by a Twitter account titled ‘Voice of Pakistan Minority, @voice_minority, with a woman crying and narrating the incident went viral online. The caption reads: “A handicapped, minor Christian girl is abducted for sex slavery in Sandha, Lahore Pakistan. Look at the helplessness of her family. They are given naked pictures of their daughter. Police know the kidnappers but not arresting them because the victim is a non-Muslim poor girl.”
The post claimed that the police were aware about the whole incident but have not taken any action due to discrimination.
The alleged victim, identified as Komal Patras, is deaf and mute, her mother, Robina Patras said in the video, adding that she had filed an FIR (First information report) with the police.
Another woman in the video says that the girl cannot speak but she used gestures to explain what had happened. “She [the victim] screamed for three minutes straight,” she is heard saying.
The family suspects three people to be involved in the case.
Pakistani media reports state that the complaint was made on March 16 at the local police station. However, there was no response from either the local authorities or government and it forced the family speak out on a video message.
As soon as the video went viral, authorities took notice of the incident. Federal Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari and police officials replied and said that they have taken action.
“A shameful and horrific act. Have taken it up. FIR registered. We have copy of it. MOHR [Minister of Human Rights] following the case now - culprits will be caught,” tweeted Mazari, @ShireenMazari1.
DIG (Deputy Inspector General) Operations Lahore’s twitter account, @DIGOpsLahore, also notified the people about the case and its updates.
“Robina Patras mother of Komal Patras resident of Shibli Town approached police PS sanda on 16/3/20 and reported that her daughter Kamal Patras is missing and some unknown persons have abducted her. Case FIR No. 405/20 under section 365B was registered and investigation started,” the May 10 post read.
“Investigation teams have raided two places in Okara but so far she could not be recovered. Her family released a video on twitter, complaining about slow action by police. Both SP [superintendent of police] Operations and SP Investigation approached parents of Komal Patras and met them in person,” the same account wrote in another tweet.
However, netizens were not convinced. Twitterati lashed out at the law enforcement authorities and the government for not taking action immediately and enforcing the appropriate measures to prevent such crimes.
Tweep @marifthahim wrote: “My dear sir, your actions should speak. I know the capabilities of Punjab police they can dig a person from ground if they desire. This case should not be taken as routine case. Your success will bring good name to country.”
Twitter user @jyakamal posted: “You should set up a special desk in your ministry to collect the information of all such cases concerning minorities in Pakistan on daily basis so that the occurrence of these cases could be controlled and curbed.”