Lahore, Sep 12 (IANS) Brutal gang rape of a woman in front of her two minor children in Pakistan’s Punjab province has caused widespread uproar, condemnation and protest. Women in the country have demanded more measures for their safety and security as the country bays for public hanging of the culprits.
The incident was reported from Gujjarpura area in Punjab province on Wednesday, when two men robed and raped the woman at gunpoint while she was waiting for help on the motorway after her car broke down.
The woman had crossed the toll plaza on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway, her car stalled due to shortage of fuel. As per police report, she called her relative in Gujranwala, who asked her to call the police for help while he also left from home to reach her.
However, by the time he reached the location, he found the woman terrified with her clothes stained with blood.
Police officials stated “at least two armed men found the woman alone, took her and children to a nearby field at gunpoint and gang raped her”.
“So far, 12 suspects have been arrested and search is going on,” said Mussarat Cheema, spokesperson of Punjab government.
“No stone will be left unturned to provide immediate justice to the victim and her family,” stated the Punjab police.
“The police teams are working day and night to identify the accused by gathering DNA evidence, geo-fencing, examining CCTV footage and NADRA records,” added the statement by Punjab police.
As per the latest details, the police authorities have briefed Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar that one of the suspect in the case has been identified and will be arrested soon.
“The name of one of the suspect is Abid Ali. He already has a criminal record of robberies and rape cases since 2013. The identification has been done through DNA testing through samples taken from the woman’s car,” maintained Punjab police officials.
The incident has spread shockwaves across Pakistan as women rights activists, civil society and the people raised their voices against the brutal incident expressing their anger and condemnation.
Amna Ameer, a human rights activist said it is the state’s responsibility to protect and safeguard the lives of its people.
“It is the responsibility of the state to protect and safeguard our lives. And I ask today… where is the state? A women with her two innocent young children gets raped brutally and the state could do nothing to protect her honour,” said Amna Ameer during a protest staged at Liberty Square in Lahore.
“We women need protection. And till the time the state doesn’t ensure justice for the victims and safety of women, we will keep coming here everyday to protest against this injustice. State is considered as mother of its people. I demand the state to fulfill that responsibility,” she added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the ongoing incidents of sexual assault on women, girls and young children, saying that such incidents are against our social values.
“The protection of women is the government’s foremost priority and responsibility. Such brutality and savagery cannot be allowed in any civilized society. Such incidents are against our social values and an ugly stain on our society,” he said.
While Chief Minister Punjab has said that “justice will be done in the motorway case no matter what and those who tortured the victim will have to suffer strict punishment,” he said.
While provincial and federal government is working to get to the culprits in the incident; locals are demanding immediate and public hanging of the rapists.
The women are also calling for self-protection gears like tasers, knives, guns and other self-protection to be allowed for them to carry when they go outside.