By Zar Alam Khan & Zulfiqar Ahmad
Police in Chitral have arrested four young men for their alleged involvement in the rape and murder of a schoolgirl and are waiting for the results of the DNA test to proceed further.
The incident occurred in the Awi village in the jurisdiction of the Booni police in upper Chitral on Sept 8.
According to the local residents ChitralToday spoke to, the teenage girl, a resident of Mandagh locality, had developed friendship with a boy from the Kroi Kologh area of the village. On the night of Sept 7, she eloped with the boy who had come to take her along with his friends. When she was taken to the house of the boy, his parents refused to accept her as their daughter-in-law and asked the son to take her back.
However, the boy and his three accomplices took the girl out and raped her the whole night. At about noon on Sept 8, the body of the girl was recovered from the riverside in Booni, in the south of the Awi village. According to the reports, which were corroborated from scores of people of the village by ChitralToday, there is no authentic report or an eyewitness account if the girl had committed suicide by jumping into the river or was murdered and then the body dumped into the river. Kroi Gologh where the girl was taken and Mandagh, the home locality of the girl, are located at the southernmost and northernmost parts, respectively, of Awi and it takes almost an hour to travel between the two localities on foot.
The police shifted the body to the District Headquarters Hospital Chitral for legal process and collection of samples for DNA and other tests to trace the culprits.
When ChitralToday contacted Sultan Mehmood, the station house officer (SHO) of the Booni police station, he said the police had initially registered an FIR under section 365-B of PPC (Pakistan Penal Code) after the body of the girl was recovered. Later, Section 302 (murder) was also added to the case on the advice of the district public prosecutor, he added.
“Nobody was forthcoming to lodge a case after the police took the body into custody when it was recovered from the riverside. The police registered the case and arrested two boys, one of whom is the main suspect. He is a 10th class student at a private school in Booni and belongs to Yarkhoon Lasht,” he added.
After a few days, two other accomplices of the boy, who had helped the main suspect in taking out the girl from her home, were also arrested on the basis of CDR [call data record]. Now all the four suspects are in jail on judicial remand, the SHO said.
“The police have also taken two motorcycles owned by the two accomplices of the main accused into custody which were used to take away the girl from her home,” he added.
The SHO said the main suspect had confessed to having friendship with the girl. To ascertain the role of the prime suspect and his three accomplices in the rape-cum-murder of the girl, the SHO said, the police had sent their samples to Peshawar for a DNA test after competing an inquiry headed by the SP investigation Chitral into the incident. The reports were expected to arrive after two weeks.
The SHO said the police allowed the family to bury the body of the girl after carrying out an autopsy. The statements of the girl’s father, mother and grandmother were also recorded by the police, the SHO said, adding the father had directly accused the four boys of killing her daughter.
When contacted, the father of the girl, who works as a security guard in Islamabad, told ChitralToday on telephone that after the disappearance of his daughter on Sept 7 night, he along with two other persons was going to the Booni police station the following day to report the disappearance of his daughter when someone told him that her body had been recovered from the river near Booni. He said he rushed to a hospital in Booni where the body had been taken. Later, the police shifted the body to Chitral for an autopsy.
“In my statement to the police I have said the four young men have murdered my daughter,” the father confirmed to ChitralToday.
He said the police had arrested the suspects and were carrying out investigations. He expressed the hope that justice would be provided to him and whoever were responsible would be punished in accordance with the law.
(Names of the victim, her father and the suspects withheld to protect their privacy.)