‘Border Military Police anunconstitutional entity’: NA panel wants police probe into Fort Munro case
ISLAMABAD, June 29: The National Assembly’s standing committee on human rights has described the investigation carried out by Border Military Police (BMP) into the alleged rape of five women earlier this month as null and void and ordered that the probe be transferred to the Punjab police.
Three personnel of the agency, which is supposed to help maintain law and order in parts of Dera Ghazi Khan, have been accused of raping the women.
During a discussion on Friday on the case that took place in Fort Munro, the committee was informed by the secretary of the human rights ministry, S. Shareef Malik, that the Supreme Court had declared the BMP as an unconstitutional entity over a decade ago.
The commandant of the BMP, Tariq Ali Basra, told the committee that the five women tourists, who were travelling from D.G. Khan to Fort Munro at the time, were stopped by some BMP personnel, frisked and taken to a border police station.
“There the girls were allegedly raped by the three men between 1am and 4am,” he remarked.
Mr Basra said the three accused were in the custody of BMP authorities. He acknowledged that tests had confirmed the involvement of one BMP man in the rape. “The tests turned out negative for the other two men.”
He said a judicial inquiry into the case had been initiated to “punish the accused according to their guilt”.
Yasmeen Rehman, Dr Attiya Inayatullah, Jamila Gilani and several other members said investigations should immediately be transferred to the Punjab police “in the interest of speedy justice”.
Committee chairman Riaz Fatyana pointed out that the women were detained by the BMP personnel instead of being sent to a “shelter home”. They were held on gunpoint and their money confiscated.
At this, Dr Inayatullah suggested that the case be tried in an Anti-Terrorism Court.
Later, the committee instructed the Punjab home secretary, who controls funding for the BMP, to transfer the investigations to the Punjab police.
After the meeting, the BMP commandant said that he didn’t know when and in what context the Supreme Court had declared the BMP an unconstitutional entity.
He told Dawn that the BMP had 500 personnel and that it was operating in the tribal areas of D.G. Khan. However, a senior government official said there were no tribal areas in the district.