PoK: Seven-year-old raped in Muzaffarabad’s government hospital

Muzaffarabad: Pakistani media reported that a seven-year-old girl was raped by a ward boy at the biggest government hospital in Muzaffarabad, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), the Abbas Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS).

The incident which occurred on June 18 came out in the open after the father of the girl filed a complaint at the local police station.

Reports from local media (Daily Country News, Neelum TV, YJF News, Wadi TV AJK) indicated that the perpetrator of the heinous crime is 40-year-old Ghulam Abbas Mir, a known drug addict and an anti-social element who had been working in the hospital since 2013.

Quoting sources close to the hospital, media reports say that even though the accused had been reprimanded multiple times by the hospital administration for his unruly behaviour towards the patients, his close political connections with the top leaders of the PoK government have saved him from being charged. The accused is said to be a drug addict and is also involved in the selling of banned marijuana at the hospital premises and in the locality.

According to the hospital officials, the accused was appointed at AIMS in 2013 because of his strong political connections. He is learnt to be closely associated with the previous Speaker of the PoK Legislative Assembly who has helped him on multiple occasions. Many such anti-social individuals were appointed at AIMS under the behest of political masters, source added.

The incident has created ripples in civil society. Many are demanding justice for the young girl and strict action be taken against such vile individuals. More details of the incident are being withheld for the safety and privacy of the girl and her family.

The whole incident also throws light on the increasing drug menace in Muzaffarabad where hundreds of young men are addicted to psychotropic substances and end up perpetuating heinous crimes.

Violence against women has been on the rise in Muzaffarabad for the past few years. Many such incidents have come out in the open in recent months, thereby highlighting the government’s inability in dealing with such cases.

One such incident was that of Maria Tahir whose pleas for continuous abuse and rape at the hands of some influential people including politicians in Muzaffarabad had fallen on the deaf ears of the administration. She had to finally come out in the open and plead for help from human rights organizations to fight against these serial abusers.

It is time for international human rights organizations to look into such instances of violence against women which are becoming all too prevalent.

first published:June 20, 2022, 8:20 p.m.

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