Pakistan Government Ignores Rape Of Low-Caste Girl

In late February, Kasthuri Kolhi, a 17-year-old from rural Pakistan, was allegedly raped by a local political leader and three of his associates. Protesters claim that authorities ignored the crime because Kolhi is a poor, Hindu minority, belonging to the Dalit group, a ‘low caste.’

Urooj Zia reported in The International News that:

The crime against the girl, who is a resident of village Mokryo, Taluka Nagarparker, district Tharparker, was allegedly perpetrated on January 24 by a local Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, Ramzan Khoso, and his associates, Habibullah Khoso, Ghulam Nabi Khoso, and Veero Maharaj.

Kolhi’s parents, local villagers and activists from groups including the Dalit Solidarity Network have asserted that medical authorities, government officials and the media are complicit in protecting the assailants.

After the incident, Kohli’s father issued a complaint of the kidnapping and rape, known as a First Investigative Report or FIR, in Pakistan, to authorities.  Rape falls under Section 365-B in Pakistan’s penal code, and is an un-bailable offense.  In spite of this, all of the accused rapists were released from detention, and none have been charged in the rape.

A medical examination, conducted a month after the incident by authorities, was deemed inconclusive because of the time that elapsed between the exam and the attack.

Locals and activists are alleging that hospital and police authorities deliberately ignored Kolhi and stalled the justice process, under the influence of the local political bosses.

Protesters at a rally earlier this month outside the Karachi Press Club are calling for a response from Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

Days after the protests, on March 8, a local Dalit group reported that another teenager, aged 15 years, was kidnapped and ‘forcibly married to a Muslim influential.’

Jan Khaskheli reports that:

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Sindh Taskforce, the alleged abductors, Mumtaz and his father Talib Hingorjo, have threatened the community to stay quite on the issue or else they would kidnap other girls from the community.

For more resources on Kolhi:

This article was edited by GroundReport Editor Rachel Sterne.