Wednesday Jan 19 2022
Web Desk

Islamabad harassment case: Female victim tells court she's being 'pressurised' to pursue case

Web Desk
Usman Mirza and his accomplices pictured behind bars. —  Islamabad Police
Usman Mirza and his accomplices pictured behind bars. —  Islamabad Police

  • The female victim denies taking money to withdraw from case.
  • During the hearing, police also brings prime suspect Usman Mirza before court.
  • "I had never met with IG Islamabad or any police officer," female victim maintains.

ISLAMABAD: The female victim of the Islamabad harassment case on Wednesday told the court that she was being pressurised to pursue the case further against her will, Geo News reported.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani conducted the hearing of the case during which the couple appeared before the court. A day ago, Rabbani had issued a nonbailable arrest warrant against the couple for not appearing before the court for a scheduled hearing.

During Wednesday's hearing police also brought Usman Mirza, the prime suspect in the harassment case, along with others to the court.

The female victim complaint to the court that she is being "pressurised to pursue the case," and pleaded with the court to grant her "permanent exemption from the case."

"I have already recorded a statement that I don’t know any of the accused arrested in the case, so why am I being pressurised to pursue the case further?” she said.

Upon the request of accused Umar Bilal’s lawyer, the court allowed playing a certain part of the video after asking journalists and other people to leave the courtroom.

During cross-examination, Bilal's lawyers asked the female victim whether she was offered Rs100,000 from his client for retracting her statement.

In response, she denied the allegations leveled against her, saying that she has "not taken money to withdraw from the case."

The female victim also told the court that she had never met the inspector-general Islamabad or any police officer, adding that she got married after the video went viral.

On the occasion, the suspect’s lawyer pleaded with the court to put the couple's names on the exit control list (ECL), which bars people from leaving the country.

Prosecutor Rana Hasan Abbas also cross-examined the male victim of the case and asked him about his job.

The male victim said that when the video went viral: “I was associated with the real estate business but now I am jobless.”

Following the conclusion of the defense counsel's cross-examination of the plaintiffs, the hearing was adjourned till Jan 25. 

In the next hearing, the defendants' counsels will cross-examine an investigation officer of the case, as reported by Dawn.

The case

Last year in July, a video surfaced on social media in which the main accused in the case, Usman Mirza, could be seen violently thrashing and harassing a young couple in a room full of other men.

Within a few hours of the video going viral, the Islamabad police took Mirza into custody and registered a first information report (FIR) in the case.

Later on, seven people, including Usman Mirza, were indicted in the Islamabad couple harassment case.

The female victim retracts her statement

The female victim of the Islamabad couple harassment case had withdrawn her statement and submitted an affidavit to deny perusing the case further.

Previously, the statement of the female victim of the case was recorded in front of the magistrate in which she had said Usman Mirza and the other accused had "threatened to gang-rape her if she did not have sex with her friend while they filmed it."

The female victim had submitted a stamp paper to the court and said that “the police itself has created this case, neither I have recognised any accused nor have signed any papers.”

She further claimed that the police took her signature and thumb impressions on blank papers multiple times.

State to pursue the case

After the female victim withdrew from her statement, PTI's Parliamentarian Secretary Maleeka Bokhari tweeted to announce the federal government's decision to pursue the couple's harassment case on the state's behalf.

She said that the decision has been taken in view of the female victim's denial of recognising the suspects despite the availability of "irrefutable" video and forensic evidence.

"The State will pursue prosecution in the Usman Mirza case irrespective of recent developments relating to victim's testimony. Irrefutable video & forensic evidence on record- anyone harassing & stripping a woman must face the full force of the law," she wrote.