June 25, 2020

By Shere Azam


KARACHI

Incidents of sexual abuse and the harassment of girls, even those who are underage, seems to be a serious issue.

In one of Karachi’s areas, Essa Nagri, one such case also arose when a some gangsters supported by a political group continuously harassed, intimidated and threatened some school going girls whenever they were seen crossing the compound of their apartment.

It has been a week since the case was reported by the parents to the police but no action has been taken as yet. Finally one of the two sisters Laiba, had to resort to share her case  on social media, and only then did the police and institutions come into action.



Ninth grader Maha Amir told Voicepk.net that she had been under severe mental duress since a long time now.

“Since the past two years a group has been harassing us in various ways,” she said. “Last week I was returning home from the park with my friends and sister, when a man called Younus Buneri tortured my younger sister within the apartment limits. They are harassing and threatening us since the past two years. We need protection from this gang.”

Her sister, Laiba Amir who was tortured in her apartment. An eighth grader, Laiba is even more worried. She said that Younus Buneri came up to her directly and slapped her without any reason. It was then that they took this matter to their parents.
Huma, their mother, also shared her views that before her marriage she belonged to the Christian community. Huma said that she had married Amir Azam, her husband, and had converted to Islam. This was around 20 years ago she added.

Huma said that while she could not say that religious extremism was the reason behind the attacks but her daughters had stopped leaving the house because of the constant threat they were facing. “When she left home last week with her friends they faced physical assault and threatened in the apartment,”she said. “We can no longer live here because we are afraid of these influential groups backed by political parties while there is no one for our backup and we demand for protection.”

On condition of anonymity, a neighbor presented his position to Voicepk.net that as someone who was living in he same apartment said that “not only these girls, but a number of others have also been harassed and beaten up by the same group of boys over time in the area.”

Legal advisor and Advocate M.S Sarfraz said that “incidents of harassment of women and underage girls were becoming too frequent and everyday similar incidents showed nothing else but our social backwardness, concrete strategies need to be formulated to prevent these issues so that such an offender cannot escape the shackles of law,” he said.

“At the same time it is the fault of legal institutions that are not performing their duties,” said Advocate Sarfaraz. “Such incidents can be stopped when rule of law is strengthened and the accused are given immediate punishments.” Referring to a protest held by some students in support of the girls, he said that it was an extremely courageous act that they were raising their voices against oppression.

“It is the other side that has adopted a typical attitude, with the police refusing to give their position on the case,” he said.

The PIB Colony Police station has however arrested the accused who are currently in physical remand while a preliminary investigation has begun.

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