Dubai: Two sisters have allegedly been subject to a gang-rape by five people in Kabirwala, a small impoverished town in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. who kidnapped them on gun point from their house
The victims, who are daughters of a worker, were taken at gun point at 2am on Thursday after being woken up by the armed kidnappers; they were fast asleep.
They were then taken to a mango orchard before being subjected to the gang-rape, according to a First Information Report (FIR) of the incident.
The brother of the victims said that his sisters, who are in their 20s, were raped by at least five people, Dawn News reported.
A senior police officer in Southern Punjab told Gulf News that the police have arrested the main accused and raids are being conducted to arrest the rest of them.
The family first sought the help of a panchayat (village council) to retrieve their daughters.
Then, later on Thursday, the suspects dropped off the sisters near their house. According to their brother, the girls were naked when they were found.
After the incident was reported by the victims' father at Kabirwala Saddar police station, Khanewal District Police Officer Umar Saeed Malik formed teams to apprehend the suspects.
A medical examination conducted at Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital Kabirwala confirmed that the two women had been raped, DPO Malik said.
A case has been registered against the suspects, two of whom remain unidentified, under Sections 365-B (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman for marriage) and 376 (rape) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the incident and sought a report from the Khanewal DPO.
Minor sisters rape case
It seems cases of violence and sexual assault on girls are on the rise in Pakistan. Last year, two minors were allegedly raped by two men in Gujrat city of Punjab.
The sisters, who study in classes six and nine, were shopping when the accused lured them and took them to a nearby house. They then raped the girls.
In September this year, a minor girl was allegedly abducted and later gang-raped by five influential men in Chak district in Sindh province.
According to media reports, the class 10 student was kidnapped from the fields by five men and then she was raped.
The girl said that the suspects also threatened to release a video clip of the alleged crime and make it viral on social media. An FIR has been registered against the suspects.
Violence against women
Pakistan is the sixth most dangerous country in the world for women, with cases of sexual crimes and domestic violence recording a rapid rise.
According to statistics collected by White Ribbon Pakistan, an NGO working for women's rights, 4,734 women faced sexual violence between 2004 and 2016. Over 15,000 cases of honor crimes were registered. There were more than 1,800 cases of domestic violence and over 5,500 kidnappings of women during this period.
According to media reports, more than 51,241 cases of violence against women were reported between January 2011 and June 2017. Conviction rates, meanwhile, remain low, with the accused in just 2.5 per cent of all reported cases ending up being convicted by courts.
The chief justice of Pakistan has recently announced that 1,000 courts would be set up to deal with the cases of violence against women.
Pakistani women's rights activists like Mukhtaran Mai who herself is rape victim earlier told media that it's a systemic problem.
"Women police stations and other facilities are set up in cities while the majority of the violence cases take place in villages," Mai said. "In rural areas, feudal landlords call the shots; the administration and police are subservient to these feudal chieftains who view women as commodities. So how can justice be delivered in such cases?"
Farzana Bari, another prominent women's rights activist, believes the patriarchal attitudes prevalent in Pakistani society are responsible for the problem. "No government has ever tried to put an end to this mindset," she said.