By Kaswar Klasra
Lahore: Bringing shame to Pakistan, a nuclear-armed Muslim country of 210 million majority Sunni Muslim population, two unidentified people raped a woman , mother of two children, in the wee hours of Tuesday on Lahore motorway in front of her children.
The incident has not only brought shame to entire country but also raised questions about how safe is Pakistan for women and girls.
It was around 1:30 AM on Tuesday when the young woman’s cars ran out of petrol at one of Pakistan’s most busy and safe Motorway. She made desperate calls to police for help which were never positively responded, unfortunately.
It was then, two men allegedly forced entry into car by smashing window glass. They took the woman to nearby jungle and gang raped her before her children.
As per detail, the woman, a resident of Gujranwala, was on her way back to the city from Lahore’s Ring Road — at the motorway. Her car ran out of petrol at Gujjarpura.
The woman waited for her husband and even phoned a relative. She called the Motorway Police’s emergency helpline 130 for assistance. However, she was told by the operator that she could not be provided help as the emergency beat had not been assigned to any patrolling party.
She pulled over and locked the car. It was then two unidentified persons arrived on foot from the nearby area surrounding the motorway and dragged them out of car forcing their entry by breaking the window glass. The dragged the woman and children to nearby jungle and allegedly raped her in front of children.
The woman told police that the men stole Rs 100, 000, jewelry and ATM cards from her before fleeing.
The rape of woman has provoked outrage and anguish across Pakistan, the latest in a series of gruesome, high-profile crimes against women and girls. Punjab Police has claimed to take a few suspects in custody. However, it is still trying to identify the accused.
Human rights activists and the public, all have called it an “inhuman” crime that has “brought shame to the entire country.
“Woman raped in Lahore motorway. A mother of two gang raped in front of her children. Let that sink in before you go babble about how safe Pakistan is for women or anyone as a matter of fact,” Nabeeha, a human rights activist tweeted following the gruesome incident.
The news of rape of woman spread across Pakistan like fire in jungle with human rights activists and social media users reacting angrily on twitter and other social media websites.
“Two back to back stories on Pakistani news. A 5-year old girl raped and burnt to death in Karachi. A woman gang raped in front of her children on motorway in Lahore. So, Pakistan is safe for women,” Soha, another human right activist tweeted.
Alone in January and February this year, 70 women were raped in Lahore. Documents show a massive increase in crime rate was witnessed in 2019 as 3,881 cases of rape, 1,359 cases of child sexual abuse, 1,126 cases of child abuse, 1,758 cases of violence against women, 12,600 cases of kidnapping of women and 197 cases of honor killing were registered in Punjab, putting the authorities to shame.
Police in Lahore registered 88 cases of child sexual abuse with boys and 17 with girls, whereas, in the preceding year, there were 41 cases of child abuse with boys and 22 with girls. Moreover, 106 cases of child sexual abuse with boys and 97 with girls were registered in 2019.
It is worth noting that a minor girl was raped, murdered and her body set ablaze in Karachi earlier.
Cold blooded murder of five years old girl in Pakistan’s biggest city of Karachi sent shocking waves across country of 210 million Sunni majority population.
Police teams founded torched body of a minor girl on last Sunday from Karachi’s Old Sabzi Mandi area, two days after she went missing.
Five-year-old victim, Marwah, had been kidnapped and raped before being murdered. Her body was set on fire. She was reported missing from the Old Sabzi Mandi area two days before her body was found in a trash heap on an empty plot in the same area in the early hours of Sunday morning.
According to local media reports, girl’s body was shifted to Jinnah Post-Graduate Medical Centre where a post-mortem examination was held. According to the autopsy report, the victim had been sexually assaulted and had died from head injuries.
Police has taken a suspect into custody and started investigating the case.
Family members and relatives of the minor girl staged a protest against kidnapping, rape and murder of the child and blocked the Main University Road after her burial in the morning. Some men, carrying sticks, were seen asking commuters to take alternative routes and the main road from Hasan Square to New Town was closed for traffic.
“A transgender activist Gul Panra was shot dead in Peshawar, a 5 year old girl Marwah was brutally raped and burnt to death in Karachi and a woman gang raped in front of her children on motorway in Lahore. Our country is becoming a hell for innocent people, especially for women,” Sir Seith Abdullah, said in a tweet.
Inam Ghani, Punjab’s police chief didn’t respond to calls made on his cell phone to get his version about story.