April 24th, 2021
By Ahmed Saeed
A Frontier Corps (FC) personnel accused of sexually abusing a 10 year old boy in Hoshab Town in Balochistan’s Kech area has been handed over to the Balochistan Levies on a five-day physical remand.
The accused was booked under Section 377-B of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) which prescribes punishment for a sexual abuse. The FIR was lodged on the complaint of the victim’s elder brother, N*.
“My brother went to a nearby jungle to collect honey when an on-duty FC soldier caught him,” N said, adding that the accused put his hand over the boy’s mouth to muzzle his cries for help. “The FC man then tried to strip off my brother’s trousers but he resisted and began yelling as loud as he could.”
After listening to his screams, the victim’s brother reached the spot and saw the soldier ejaculating on the minor’s clothes who then fled the scene while hurling abuses at them.
“My brother was devastated. He was crying because he was hurt and in severe pain… the soldier had slapped him several times to overpower him,” said N.
The victim’s family gathered at the spot and went to the Levies office to register a case against the accused, where the officials took up the matter with the local commander of the FC who immediately conducted an identification parade.
“When my brother identified the culprit, the FC commander ordered the soldier to surrender his official weapon and ordered Levies personnel to arrest him. The FC officer really played a good role in this incident,” the victim’s brother told Voicepk.net.
The victim was taken to a hospital for a medical examination. The medico-legal report suggested that no sexual offence was committed because no semen was found inside the victim’s body. However, a Levies official told Voicepk.net that there were semen stains on the victim’s shalwar, which suggest that the accused tried to sexually abuse the boy.
“The accused has also confessed to us that he had committed this ‘mistake’. He told us that he should not have done such a thing as he was fasting,” the Levies official said.
According to section 377-A of the PPC, whoever employs, uses, forces, persuades, induces, entices or coerces any person to engage in fondling, stroking, caressing, exhibitionism, voyeurism or any obscene or sexually explicit conduct with or without consent where age of person in less than 18 years is said to commit the offence of sexual abuse.
It is also important to mention here that the Anti-Rape Ordinances issued in December 2020 made rape a gender-neutral offence by broadening the definition of rape. According to the Ordinance, a person is said to commit rape if the person
· inserts, to any extent, any object or a part of the body, not being the penis, into the vagina, the urethra or anus of any other person or
· manipulates any part of the body of any other person so as to cause penetration into the vagina, urethra, anus or any part of the body of any other person.
Shabbir Hussain, a criminal law expert, believes that at present the Levies should have lodged the FIR under section 376 of the PPC instead of 377-B.
“The FIR clearly states that the soldier manipulated the boy, so this case comes under the ambit of section 376 and must be treated as rape,” Hussain said.