Voice for Voiceless
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Afzal Abad, Central Jail Road, Haripur, KPK, Pakistan														(C) Human Development Organization

Somia Bibi 13 allegedly eloped with her lover Adil exactly two days after her reported marriage. She stayed with the boy for three days in a hotel but on the evening of fourth day, he took her to city market in Mansehra and got disappeared. She searched for him but in vain. “I was desperately looking for Adil when two police cops ascended from police van”. One of them asked the reason of her standing alone on the roadside. “Despite efforts I failed to take a single step forward-I wanted to escape because I was terrified and my legs were almost numbed”. Unable to satisfy the police men: “I started crying in distress which made me suspicious”. They took her to police station where she spoke about how she left home and how her lover disserted her after molesting for three days on the hollow promise of marriage. The police men using the right of impunity punished her for committing crime of elopement, instead of offering her sort of consolation.

 “After listening to my ordeal, the SHO welcome me using abusive language calling me pros and whatever they could say- the angry officer slapped and kicked me mercilessly-after few minutes when the officer appeared to be exhausted he asked his subordinates to teach me lesion”. “The well built constables beat me with bamboo sticks hitting my buttocks and thighs until I felt collapsing”. But it was not end of her ordeal as the fate has something more terrible for her in the store. “In the evening SHO, instead of informing my family, sent me to adjacent residential quarter of a woman police constable to stay there for unknown purpose”.

"Any police officer who vexatiously and unnecessarily delays the forwarding to t a court or to any other authority to whom he legally bound to forward any arrested person, shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine". Article 157, Police Order.

“Crying with paining bruises and sever body aches I was trying to sleep when a man in civvies came to me covering his face- he got on my bed and overpowered me with full force and raped me-I cried for help but there was none to rescue me”. Two other colleagues of masked rapist followed him the same evening. “They kept me detained in the same quarter raping me for three days in a row”. On fourth day they sent her to Kaghan police station where, according to her statement, she was again assaulted sexually by two police personnel. However on August 6, she was produced before the court of judicial magistrate who sent her to Dar ul Amaan where she disclosed her ordeal before some media persons.

After publication of her story in local newspapers, the HDO mobilized the national media and legal fraternity who forced the administration to record the statement of victim afresh. She was later taken to the court of judicial magistrate where she recorded her statement under section 164 of the PPC and endorsed the disclosure she made before press earlier.

Medical examination of rape victim confirmed that she was no more virgin but the fear of reprisal from the law enforcement agencies the doctors did not document sexual or physical torture.

However for rehabilitation of victim, HDO’s team of female psychologist and counselor met her in the Dar ul Amaan and extended her psychological support. “I was totally shaken with humiliation of losing my honor-I thought to commit suicide after facing double trauma of gang rape and cheating by lover”. HDO’s team provided medical assistance for body aches, depression and urinary tract infection.

For her psychological recovery, the psychologist held two sessions at the Dar ul Amaan using techniques of muscle relaxation, physical exercises, assertiveness and confidence building. She was recovering slowly after two sessions when the Dar ul Amaan authorities banned HDO’s entry on police order. However after her getting out of Dar ul Amaan, HDO’s psycho rehabilitation team visited her home and had three more individual sessions which helped her recovering from the trauma to a greater extent.

“I want to bury bitter memories because I cannot move against the tide-I cannot take the powerful police men to justice- what I have in my mind is only to start my life afresh”

Like so many other cases Somia succumbed to police pressure, and when the District Judge Mansehra launched inquiry into her case on the orders of Peshawar High Court and Supreme Court as well, she had to back track from her statements that she recorded in the court of judicial magistrate.

Later she decided to settle with her parents on the request of her mother and occasionally contact HDO’s therapists seeking their support on need basis.