Wednesday Jul 14, 2021
The assaulted Islamabad couple was blackmailed and the suspects threatened to kill them, Islamabad police said Wednesday, as they highlighted that the men had extorted Rs1.1 million from the victims.
The Islamabad police officials made the statement during an appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, where they revealed that the victims wanted to maintain a low profile and had rejected the offer to get security personnel for their protection.
The committee's chairman, Mohsin Aziz, asked what actions were taken so far; why weren't steps taken to prevent it from going viral, and is the video longer than five minutes?
Responding to the questions, police officials said the video was recorded in November 2020, but as soon as it went viral, a case was registered against the suspects.
"We have tracked the victims, and they want to keep a low profile. In their statement, they had informed us that the suspects had extorted money from them," officials said.
Despite requesting them to be assigned with security guards, they refused, police said, adding that the victims cannot be forced. "We even offered to provide security of plainclothes security personnel, but they refused."
Police said they had seven to eight people in custody. The main suspect and two video-makers have been arrested, while a police team was sent to a province to arrest the remaining suspects.
The committee was informed that no video of other victims was found so far through the forensic audit of the suspects' mobile phones.
Further, they said the main suspect is reportedly rich and has political connections. "However, investigations revealed that he is not that well-connected. He just wants to be famous."
The victims, in their statement to the police, said that they were engaged, according to the officials.
Meanwhile, DIG Islamabad informed the committee that sections, which might lead to life imprisonment or death, have been added in the first information report (FIR).
He further said that under the anti-rape law, a special joint team has been set up, which will conduct in-camera investigations.
During the meeting, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Hamza Shafqaat said that an investigation was being carried out into the case of a man who had brandished a weapon at D-Chowk.
The deputy commissioner said that according to the preliminary investigation, the man is not mentally fit, however, a medical board will have the final say.
A day earlier, another victim of Autoland co-owner Usman Mirza had spoken up, saying the main suspect of the Islamabad assault case had harassed and blackmailed her.
Mirza has been arrested by the Islamabad police along with his six accomplices for harassing and assaulting a young couple in Islamabad. He reportedly has a history of harassing women.
"Usman Mirza had been harassing me for quite some time," a woman from Rawalpindi told Geo News. "Usman Mirza sent me my home address and mobile number on social media."
Islamabad couple 'filmed in presence of 14 people for 2.5 hours', police tells court
The Islamabad couple who were subjected to harassment and torture by a property dealer and his accomplices were filmed for 2.5 hours, the federal capital's police told a court on Tuesday.
Three people filmed the assault in the presence of 14 people, the police added.
The police's statement came during the hearing of the Sector E-11 assault case at a District and Sessions Court in Islamabad.
The police told the court they had registered a separate case against the main suspect, property dealer Usman Mirza, after they had recovered a pistol from him, at the I-9 police station.
Two days earlier, during court proceedings, Islamabad police had said that they had registered charges of extortion and rape, among others, against the suspects.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Afzal Ahmad Kausar, addressing a press conference yesterday, said that the couple, in their written statement, mentioned that the suspects had sexually abused them.
The new charges brought against the suspects include Sections 375-A, 375-D, 384, 342, 114, 395, 496-A, and 377-B of the Pakistan Penal Code, The Express Tribune reported, citing DIG Kausar.
On June 8, Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of a social media video of a couple being harassed. The disturbing video kicked up outrage on social media with #ArrestUsmanMirza becoming one of the top trends on Twitter.
In the unsettling video, Mirza can be seen violently thrashing and harassing the young couple in a room full of other men.