ISLAMABAD: Islamabad police have said that two more suspects were due to be arrested in a case against the Usman Mirza gang over torturing, sexually harassing, and blackmailing a couple in the federal capital.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Afzal Kausar told the media that more sections have been added to the First Information Report (FIR) of the case including extortion, rape, abettor’s presence on the crime scene, wrongful confinement, dacoity, detainment of a woman with criminal intent and sexual abuse.
DIG Afzal Kausar detailed that six suspects, including Usman Mirza, were arrested, whereas two more accused are due to be arrested. He added that statements of the victim girl and boy were recorded by the police.
On July 9, it was learned that police decided to include sections of blackmailing and extortion in the case filed against the accused following the confessions made by the Usman Mirza gang about receiving extortion from the victimized girl.
It emerged that the gang members had allegedly confessed to receiving Rs1.3 million extortion from the victim girl.
The police officers who are carrying out the investigation had contacted the law ministry for the inclusion of more sections in the case, sources added.
Moreover, the Islamabad police had also contacted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to put the names of the suspects on the passport watch list after expressing suspicions that they could flee abroad.
Police had formally requested the FIA authorities to add the names of the suspects on the passport watch list to restrict them from fleeing abroad.
According to details, the incident occurred two months back, when Usman Mirza and his other accomplices barged into an apartment in the E-11 sector of Islamabad and shot an obscene video of a girl.
The suspect had continued to blackmail the couple with the video and demanded money in return and warned to make it viral in case of non-compliance.
Police, probing the couple harassment case, have incorporated further sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) to the case including rape, sexual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement as the investigation progresses.
The incident had come to light with a video showing a group of men, led by Usman Mirza — the key suspect — holding a couple at gunpoint, forcing them to strip and then beating them up. Moreover, the suspects also abused the couple verbally and physically by doing vulgar acts.
The FIR of the case was registered on July 6 on behalf of sub-inspector Syed Asim Ghafar, after which some of the suspects were traced and arrested. The FIR said the incident took place within Golra police station limits at an apartment building in sector E-11/2.
The case was registered under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force to woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506 (ii) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the PPC.
In the latest development, Islamabad Police Deputy Inspector General (Operations), Afzal Kausar, said in a statement that more sections of the PPC had been added to the case. These include Section 375-A, 375-D (rape), 384 (punishment for extortion), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 395 (punishment for dacoity); 496-A (enticing or taking away or detaining with criminal intent a woman) and 377-B (sexual abuse).
DIG Kausar said six suspects have been detained in the case so far, while two are yet to be arrested. He added that the statements of the couple have also been recorded.
During the presser, the DIG clarified that the new sections added to the FIR pertained to forcing the couple to indulge in an immoral act in front of everyone. “Some TV channels linked the new sections with confirmation of rape, which was a misinterpretation,” he added. This suggests that the addition of rape charges to the case is linked to other videos recovered from the suspects.
The FIR, which was earlier registered, said “the video of the incident went viral on social media. in which five to six men can be seen keeping the victims in custody under gunpoint. The accused also stripped the man and the woman naked while threatening them.” It added that the suspects were also performing “vulgar acts”.
According to press reports, scores of people have been picked up by police in connection with the investigation of the couple harassment case in which the main suspect, Usman Abrar, along with four other persons is already in custody.
The police have detained 20 to 25 relatives of other suspects who have gone into hiding. These suspects were spotted in videos or photos recovered from the mobile phones and laptops of the five arrested men.
The police also rounded up a relative of a man who is suspected of making the video of Usman Abrar and others while they held the couple at gunpoint, forced them to strip and beat them up.
The relatives of the suspect told Dawn that the capital police raided a house in Shamsabad Rawalpindi three days ago. As the suspect was not present there, the police took away one of his relatives.
He has been in police custody for three days without any legal proceedings, they said. On Saturday, they added, the suspect obtained bail before arrest from court and approached the police along with his family to join the investigation after which his relative was set free.
The police officers said the investigation in the case was in the initial stage as the investigators were still busy identifying and tracing the suspects. Besides, they were also requesting the couple to submit written statements and become complainants in the case. The mobile phones and laptops of the suspects were also being analysed to find out if the suspects were involved in organised crime.
The officers said the suspects in police custody were yet to be properly interrogated as so far their statements have not been recorded.
Meanwhile, the officers said the investigators were also trying to establish the identification of the close contacts of the main suspect, Usman Abrar, with the help of his call and message records. Moreover, the police have found that three cases were already registered against him — one at the Sihala police station and two in Rawalpindi.
The case at Sihala police station was registered on April 30 under 506-ii (criminal intimidation) and other sections of Pakistan Penal Code.