KARACHI: A jirga of notables in Ghulam Nabi Shah area of Umerkot district allegedly settled a gang rape case for a compensation of 30 maunds of wheat, the victim’s father claimed.
A case was registered with the local police a few days ago on complaint of the 14-year-old victim’s brother, Sajan Shaikh.
The victim’s father said following the registration of the case and the subsequent arrest of the main suspect, he was forced to settle the dispute through the jirga and was promised a compensation of 30 maunds of wheat.
The jirga was held under the supervision of a local influential landlord Mohammad Hassan Mangrio, he added.
The victim’s father deplored that after he refused to accept the compensation he was forced to leave the area with his family.
He alleged that since local media highlighted the issue, local elites have been threatening him to keep mum and withdraw the case.
DIG Mirpurkhas division Javed Alam Odho took notice of the incident and directed SSP Umerkot to investigate the case and provide protection to the victim’s family.
The SHO of Ghulam Nabi Shah, Arif Bhatti, said local police had registered the case on March 21 under Sections 376 (2) and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code, and has already arrested the prime suspect.
The official, however, said he was not aware of any jirga being held in the jurisdiction of his police station.
Hassan Mangrio — who had allegedly forced the victim’s parents to settle the issue — also denied of holding any such jirga, and said “the rape matter might have been settled between the accused and victim’s family”.
Zahida Detho, the chief of Sindh Rural Partner Organisation (SRPO), termed the incident “the worst in the area.”
She demanded the Sindh government to form a judicial commission to probe the incident.
Detho said her organisation was collecting details of the incident to help the family.
“In many such instances in the past, the parents were forced to withdraw the cases due to political pressure,” she observed.