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Usman Mirza harassment: Pressured to pursue case, says victim


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ISLAMBAD:-The woman complainant in the Islamabad couple rape case has, once again, refused to identify Usman Mirza or the complaint filed him. “I am being pressured to pursue the case,” she said at an Islamabad sessions court Wednesday.

Mirza and his friends have been accused of sexually harassing, torturing, and filming a young couple in the E-11 sector.

Last week, during a shocking turn of events, the victim refused to identify the suspect and wished to retract the case. In her statement, she said police officials had visited her multiple times and asked for her signatures and thumbprints on blank pieces of paper. “The police had made up the whole thing.”

The law ministry, subsequently, decided that the state will pursue the case “irrespective of recent developments relating to victim’s testimony”.

At the hearing on January 19, the woman’s friend, the second complainant, during cross-examination, said that he was called to the Golra Sharif police station almost four to five times after the FIR was registered.

“Inspector Shafqat pressured me into signing a plain document,” he said. “I didn’t record any statement on July 8.”

He added that he couldn’t recall the details of the incident. “I don’t even remember what I was wearing that day,” he said. At this, prosecutor Rana Hasan Abbas requested the court to replay the footage. He was granted permission by Judicial Magistrate Atta Rabbani.

The case

Usman Mirza, the co-owner of car business in Islamabad, was arrested when a video surfaced on the internet showing him harassing and torturing a young couple at an apartment in Sector E-11. During raids in the next few days, his accomplices were nabbed from different areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Later, investigations revealed that Mirza had not only tortured and filmed the couple but also blackmailed and extorted money from them. He was said to have received millions of rupees from the young man and woman, who are now married.

Days after the arrests, another woman told journalists that she, too, had been harassed and blackmailed by Mirza ‘for quite some time.’

PM takes notice

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan instructed authorities to provide him regular follow-up reports in the Usman Mirza harassment case.

“These cases can be brought to a logical conclusion only be regular followups,” he said. “Protecting the rights of citizens is the foremost responsibility of the government.”

“In any case, the state will pursue these cases and bring severe punishment to the accused,” he added.

Earlier, the Ministry of Law decided that the State will pursue prosecution in the case. “Irrefutable video and forensic evidence on record- anyone harassing and stripping a woman must face the full force of the law,” Maleeka Bokhari, parliamentary secretary on law and justice tweeted.

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