KARACHI: A senior police officer from the metropolitan city ‘South Zone has questioned the young survivor of the sexual harassment incident in Clifton, saying it “doesn’t look like rape and kidnapping but there seems to be other problems”.
Talk to News, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) for South Zone police, Javed Akbar Riaz, said: “Investigators have found no evidence or witnesses to suggest that the woman resisted during the entire episode.”
However, until the investigation is complete, “nothing can be confirmed”, he added, with closed circuit television (CCTV) footage obtained by police apparently showing him calmly walking away from the area.
Investigators obtained recordings from several CCTV cameras, one of which was shown News where the 22 year old woman was not thrown out of her black Toyota Vigo but was seen getting out of the vehicle with a grocery bag.
Earlier reports of the Clifton incident indicated that three men in a black Toyota Vigo had kidnapped the 22-year-old survivor at around 9:30 p.m. while he was waiting for a bus home in Karachi’s posh Clifton neighborhood. Two of them repeatedly raped her while the third facilitated harassment.
New evidence ‘denies force, coercion’
Previous reports also said that the young woman was found Tuesday morning unconscious. But police have signaled ruling out kidnapping and gang rape by providing new evidence that “denies coercion and coercion and appears to be something else”.
When questioned by authorities, a security guard at the apartment where the victim was reportedly taken Monday night told police he did not remember witnessing a young woman fighting back at any point in time.
Police investigators said call detail records (CDR) from the cell phones owned by the woman and the suspects showed that they were in contact with each other for a short time. Riaz said it showed their “brief history of summons” but added that “the suspect will be arrested soon”.
They also cited the “initial medical examination” which showed that there were no signs of torture or injury to the victim’s body.
It is interesting to note that a preliminary report from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) – where the woman was transferred after her case was filed – has confirmed the assault. DNA tests on the woman were carried out but police said neither she nor her family wanted to be identified.
The raids on the DHA apartment were futile
Authorities also raided an apartment on the third floor of a residential apartment in Khayaban-e-Nishat in the high-end Karachi Housing Authority (DHA) area after the woman took her statement and police identified the suspects but sadly returned empty-handed.
The raids carried out on the homes of the three suspects’ relatives remain futile.
Police claim to have found the identities of the alleged rapists, one of whom is from Jacobabad and happens to be the son of the late lawmaker, whom they refuse to identify publicly.
However, they added that the woman was dropped back around 11:30 p.m. that same night and was not found unconscious the next day. The first information report (FIR) is registered at the Boat Basin police station.
A senior police source also warned against rushing to hasty conclusions.
Contact ‘influencers’ for work
The day before, a senior police officer, quoting the victim’s statement, said one of the three men suspected of involvement in the kidnapping and rape of the 22-year-old man had given him the phone number of an “influential” person to contact. if he needs a job.
The alleged rapist, lowering his back, also offered to hire him for Rs30,000 if he needed the job, the senior policeman explained.
On Wednesday, authorities claimed the investigation into the cellphone number had been completed. The contact, they added, was a “person of influence” but was not used at the crime scene.
The daily activities of the influential person were also checked but no evidence was found of the man’s involvement in the incident, they added, noting that the data of his children were also being checked.
Police learned about the incident after the woman’s sister shared her plight on Helpline 15 on Tuesday afternoon.
‘Pursuing investigations based on merit’
The woman told police she was taken to a flat after being kidnapped from Clifton and subjected to sexual assault, after which the suspects left her in the same place from where they kidnapped her.
“People in black Vigo took me to the third floor of a building and raped me after picking me up from near the Abdullah Shah Ghazi temple,” a senior police officer quoted a survivor as saying. “They then dropped me off outside the mall in Clifton.”
“The woman has identified an influential suspect […] They will be arrested soon, “said the police.
DIG Riaz said the police were “working on a victim version” and “are mobilizing our resources to arrest the suspect and to continue merit-based investigations”.
A female officer was involved in the case because of her sensitivity, he added, while the assistant police superintendent (ASP) at Clifton station, Zahida Perveen, said Karachi authorities “were also trying to get CCTV footage of both places – from where she was picked up and dropped”.
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