The victim was on board the Bahauddin Zakaria Express when some staffers subjected her to sexual assault on May 27. The police have registered an FIR based on the complaint of the victim.
“The FIR has been registered under Section 377s (punishment for rape) and 34 (common intent) of the Pakistan Penal Code,” confirmed police authorities.
A medical check-up of the victim confirmed rape.
As per the FIR, the woman was travelling in the economy class when the ticket-checker offered her a seat in the air-conditioned compartment of the train. The checker then took her to the other compartment where some staff members took turns to sexually assault the woman and threatened her with dire consequences when she tried to escape.
The victim later reported her ordeal to the railways police, who registered a case and constituted teams to arrest the suspects.
“The police have arrested all the three suspects in the case,” confirmed the police.
“The victim’s clothes have been taken into custody, while swab samples have been taken for semen serology, DNA profiling and cross-matching,” said Summaiya Syed, additional police surgeon at Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre in Karachi.
Summaiya said that the time of arrival of the train at Karachi was important as the place of the incident was Rohri, which is situated between Multan and Karachi, and the distance will clarify and confirm the time of the incident.
The incident is a first of its kind in Pakistan Railways, which brought back the traumatic memories of a similar incident in India, in which eight men gang-raped a 22-year-old girl inside a bus in 2012. The unfortunate girl later succumbed to her injuries. Four of the culprits were hanged to death in 2020.
Pakistan has also witnessed such horrific incidents where women and children were subjected to brutal sexual assaults in broad daylight, on motorways. Many females even have been blackmailed into sexual relationship with threats of dire consequences.
The menace of sexual assault and rape continues to remain one of Pakistan’s biggest challenges.