DI Khan: Three men strip woman in public as revenge attack
According to media reports, a harrowing incident of patriarchal injustice occurred in the Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). Three men allegedly stripped a woman to avenge her husband’s alleged liaison with their sister.
Note: The victim’s identity has been withheld to protect privacy.
Details of the Incident
The victim was returning from a wedding ceremony on the 6th of June when three armed men intercepted her. The men sexually assaulted the poor woman in a ‘revenge attack’ and fled, leaving her naked in the middle of the street full of onlookers.
Speaking to a media outlet, a resident said:
The attack was carried out after rumors of the alleged affair between the victim’s husband, Imdad Hussain, and the sister of the accused spread like wildfire in the village enraging the girl’s family.
The resident further shared:
The police were initially reluctant to register an FIR but relented a day later, registering the case under Section 354 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) with no mention of stripping.
Police Claim Otherwise
The accounts of residents contradict statements of the police, who claim the victim was not stripped. SDPO Saddar Muhammad Adnan said:
The woman had not been stripped, but her clothes were torn apart by the accused, who managed to escape and even threatened her with dire consequences.
DPO DI Khan Najamul Hasnain shared:
An FIR has been registered against the three men but one of the accused managed to secure pre-arrest bail from the court. I was personally looking into the matter.
What does the FIR read?
The FIR of the incident has been registered under Section 354, which is generally invoked in an assault or criminal force to a woman with intent to outrage her modesty. Explanation of the section reads:
Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
However, the residents of DI Khan are unsure whether the same action or worse will be taken in this case or not. The doubts stem from the fact that forcing women to ‘compensate’ for the misdeeds committed by men is a common occurrence in the district. Many similar incidents have taken place in the region earlier due to the absence of solid law enforcement.
A local resident said:
I fear not mentioning the stripping and including Section 354 in the FIR was a deliberate tactic used to obfuscate the complexity of the matter. It was akin to killing two birds with one stone as it downplays the gravity of the incident. Now there will be little or no outcry in the media.
He further stated:
The trend in the district is flourishing. It is deplorable that women have to pay for the wrongdoings of their husbands or other men of the family.
Rights activist and lawyer Zeenat Muhib Kaka Khel said:
I believe that stripping can also be covered in Section 354 PPC along with other offenses. The FIR registered under Sections 354 of PPC and 506/34 are relevant sections under which the case can be further looked into to punish the accused.
While the public is protesting against the grave injustice, the police fail to arrest the accused and bring justice to the victim.
A Similar Incident took place earlier
A girl was stripped and paraded naked on the city outskirts in 2018. The main accused escaped, and the police failed to arrest him for a long time. However, the culprit surrendered to the police after more than a year. Still, q+the culprit wasn’t punished as both parties later reached a compromise, and all the accused in the case were pardoned.
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