Multan, June 20 (Reuters): A 20-year-old woman has been gang-raped, killed and hung from a tree in Pakistan in a case with a chilling resemblance to a double rape and murder in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, that caused outrage in India last month.
Pakistani police said Muzammil Bibi, 20, was attacked by three men in a field in the impoverished Layyah area of densely populated Punjab province.
“This is the first time in my 22 years of service in the police that I have seen such a case, where a girl was raped in this way and found hanging from a tree,” senior officer Sadaqat Ali Chohan said.
“We have heard of such cases in India but never in Pakistan. The girl’s clothes were torn. We took her down and moved her to hospital. Her body had signs of resistance. We have arrested three individuals who have confessed to the crime.”
According to police, she resisted the rape before being strangled to death. Police said her parents spent all night looking for her and found her body hanging the next morning.
A police official, who is part of the investigation, said the girl had relations with a person named Irfan. “We had reports that yesterday she went to meet Irfan. At the moment Irfan is a prime suspect in the case,” the police official said.
In a similar incident in Badaun, the bodies of two cousins were found hanging from a mango tree on May 28 after being raped, sparking a global outrage.
Rights activist Mahmal Sarfraz said this case showed the sickness of the culprits.
“The culture of demeaning women through rape is on the rise in Pakistan. Since the culprits involved in rape and other crimes against women get away owing to no or poor follow up of the cases it is difficult to arrest this trend,” she said.