Police officials in Jhelum Valley district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Monday, while recording the statement of an under-treatment woman who had attempted to commit suicide, found out that she had been raped last week.
The incident happened in the constituency of AJK’s Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider.
S*, the 25-year-old pregnant mother of one child, was subjected to the crime reportedly at the hands of an influential local from another tribe.
The suspect apparently took her to a deserted hut on the outskirts of Chikar on Friday afternoon, one of her relatives and police officials told News on Monday.
Chikar is a famous hill resort towards the south-west of Muzaffarabad in the jurisdiction of Jhelum Valley district.
The victim, a resident of Khaitar Muradabad village, had gone to see her elder sister in the nearby Kalri village on Friday morning, leaving her four-year-old son behind.
When she was about to return in the afternoon, a man, who she later identified as Raja Nayyar, reached there along with two colleagues and forced her to sit in his jeep.
When her sister and brother-in-law resisted, they were abused and pushed aside by the accused.
The accused Nayyar dropped his colleagues after some distance and then took the victim to a shelter in a deserted part of the jungle, where he subjected her to rape, the victim told the police.
“I begged him in the name of God, I even put my chador in his feet, but he said he had already spared me once and he will not do so now,” the victim told the police in Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan (SKZN) Hospital Muzaffarabad.
The victim, after reaching home, did not share the harrowing incident with her husband, H*, and sobbed throughout the night without taking any meals.
The next morning, she narrated the ordeal to her poverty-stricken spouse, who advised her to banish the incident from her thoughts as they could do nothing to the tormentor due to his financial and tribal clout, she told the police.
The victim subsequently tried to commit suicide by ingesting poison and was rushed to Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital in Hattian Bala.
After having her stomach pumped the hospital staff had her referred to SKZN Hospital in Muzaffarabad for better treatment.
Speaking to Dawn, one of her relatives said, “They were so scared that they did not even report the incident to the police, fearing that it would trigger reprisals from the influential accused.”
The police came to know about the incident on Monday after Dawn inquired about the episode, following which an Assistant Sub-Inspector recorded her statement in the hospital.
Jhelum valley’s Deputy Commissioner, Abdul Hameed Kiani, and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Riaz Haider Bukhari, also visited the victim on Monday evening and assured her family that the state and government would take the alleged accused to task.
The SSP later confirmed the sequence of events to Dawn and said he had already rushed a Deputy Superintendent Police to the area to supervise proceedings by the local police station.
He said he had also directed the local Station House Officer to register a case on behalf of the state, “if the victim’s husband was reluctant to lodge a complaint.”
“Obviously this is a horrendous act and we will not spare the accused, whoever he might be,” he vowed.