A sessions court in Islamabad on Friday sentenced Usman Mirza to life imprisonment for holding a couple at gunpoint, forcing them to strip, beating them up, and filming the entire ordeal.
Those sentenced include Usman Mirza, Idris Qayyum Butt, Mohib Khan Bangash, Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Farhan Shaheen. Meanwhile, accused Umar Bilal Marwat and Rehan Hussain were acquitted. Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani delivered the verdict.
Usman and his accomplices were sentenced under Section 354-A (assault or use of criminal force to a woman and stripping her of her clothes) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
The court has ordered them to pay a fine of Rs200,000 each. In case of non-payment, they would have to undergo six months of simple imprisonment.
The convicts have also been sentenced to seven years in prison for criminal intimidation (Section 506) and three years for intending to insult the modesty of a woman (Section 509(i)).
The sentences would run concurrently with the benefit of Section 382(B) (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the Criminal Procedure Code granted to the convicts.
The case had surfaced last year in July when a video of four persons holding a couple at gunpoint had gone viral on social media. They forced the couple to strip and then beat them up.
Case taken up by the state
The horrifying case, which lasted seven months, made headlines once again in January 2022. The woman complainant had retracted her statement against the accused. She told a trial court that she did not want to pursue the case.
The victim told the court that she did not pay ransom to anyone. She said she never filed a complaint with the police. Not only that but she also said that the investigation officer had taken her thumb impressions on blank papers. Additionally, she claimed that none of the accused had tried to sexually assault her.
Immediately afterward, Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari said that the state would take up the case as it had “irrefutable video and forensic evidence on record”.
“The video of Usman Mirza (primary accused) has been verified by the Pakistan Science Foundation. And we have photogrammetry (pertaining to the technique for making measurements through photographs) evidence,” she had said in a statement.
As was the case in the Noor Mukadam case, it appears that justice has once again been served in this case. Hopefully, in the future, the perpetrators will continue to suffer the consequences of their brutal acts.
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