Vehari: Acid attack Police accused of protecting suspects
VEHARI: An acid attack victim in Vehari on Tuesday accused police of protecting two of the five people she said threw acid on her over her refusal to sign an amended agreement not to prosecute those who kidnapped her sister as decreed by a panchayat. Saima Bibi*, a resident of Chak 55-9/L in Sahiwal, said the woman and the man lured her to Chak 62/W-B in Vehari on Sunday were not mentioned in the FIR registered by Thingi police.
Three suspects named in the report were arrested by the police on Monday night. Talking to The Express Tribune, SHO Masoodul Haq Bhatti rejected the allegation and said those arrested were the only people the woman had nominated in her statement to the police officials sent to the hospital.
Doctors treating the woman at Vehari district headquarters (DHQ) hospital said acid had been injected up her genitals. They said she may not be able to reproduce. Medical Superintendent Dr Ashraf Chaudary said she was unlikely that she would ever be able to give birth. He said more than 50 per cent of the lower half of her body was burnt.
On Sunday, she was rescued from the Vehari village where she had gone to pay Rs50,000 to Moin*, one of the suspects. DSP Mukhtar Joiya said a call to 15 helpline was made by one of her brothers, Sanaullah. Sanaullah said he had called police on suspecting foul play after hearing the victim’s screams over cell phone. “Someone else then hung up when I introduced myself and asked about her screams,” he said. Saima Bibi’s brother Abdullah was to marry Moin’s sister under the panchayat ruling to settle a dispute between the two families over the kidnapping of her sister.
Abdullah said that she had been kidnapped by Moin after the family declined his proposal for her. The panchayat decided that Abdullah’s family would not pursue the kidnapping case or seek recovery of the abducted girl. In return, Moin would give his sister in marriage to Abdullah.
Saima Bibi told the media that she was detained and told to sign a settlement paper stating that the family had agreed to not seek Moin’s sister’s marriage to Abdullah. She said the suspects first raped her and then attacked her with acid.
The FIR includes Sections 376/511 (sexual assault) and 324/34 (murder attempt) of the PPC and Section 7 of the Anti–Terrorism Act. Names have been changed to protect the victim’s identity.