Islamabad- A judge on Friday sentenced Usman Mirza and four co-accused to life in prison for stripping a couple at gunpoint, placing under severe torture and recording their videos on mobile phones in a flat at E-11/2.

The four accomplices of Usman Mirza, the ringleader of the gang, have been identified as Hafiz Atta Ur Rehman, Mohib Bangish, Farhan Shaheen and Aadras Qayyum Butt.

The judge also acquitted two other accused namely Umer Bilal and Rehan Mughal in the couple torture case.

Accused Rehan Hussain Mughal and Umer Bilal Khan are hereby acquitted of the charges levelled against them,” said Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani.

“The prosecution has succeeded to prove its case against the accused Muhammad Usman Ibrar alias Usman Mirza, Farhan Shaheen, Hafiz Atta Ur Rehman Muhammad Adaras Qayyum Butt and Mohib Khan beyond any shadow of doubt for the offence u/s 354A/342/506(ii)/509(i) of PPC and have failed to establish the case against accused Rehan Hussain Mughal and Umer Bilal Khan.”

“Usman Mirza and his four accomplices have been awarded life imprisonment each under Section 354-A (assault or use of criminal force against a woman and stripping her clothes) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC),” remarked Judge Atta Rabbani in his judgment.

The court has ordered them to pay a fine of Rs200,000 each. In case of non-payment, they would have to undergo one month 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 509i), the judge said.

The sentences would run concurrently with the benefit of Section 382B (period of detention to be considered while awarding sentence of imprisonment) of the Criminal Procedure Code granted to the convicts, he added in the verdict, copy of which is also available with The Nation.

The police and other law enforcement agencies got into action after a video of more than six people appeared on social media showing them harassing and stripping a couple at gunpoint in a flat and torturing them mercilessly in July 2021. On the orders of the then IG Islamabad and SSP Operations, Golra police registered a First Information Report (FIR) Number 442/2021 dated 6/7/2021 under sections 354-A/342/395/375-A/506(ii)/384/377-B/412 of PPC and held the main culprit Usman Mirza and other co-accused.

Initially, an FIR was registered under section 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 354A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 506ii (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of Pakistan Penal Code.

Later, sections pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, extortion, and wrongful confinement were also slapped in the FIR.

The high-profile case took a new and shocking turn when the victim couple had retracted their statements before the trial court. The victim woman told the judge that she did not want to pursue the case anymore.

She also added in her statement that she or her husband never filed any complaint against anyone rather it was police investigators who forced her to put her thumb impressions on blank papers. She also refused to identify the accused and said she saw them for the first time in the police station.

On the other hand, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Muhammad Ahsan Younas also issued a presser vowing to pursue the case with addition to Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari that the state would take up the case. She said the investigators had irrefutable video and forensic evidence on record to get the accused punished as per law.

PTI MNA Maleeka Bokhari had also stated that the video of Usman Mirza (the primary accused) has been verified by the Pakistan Science Foundation, and we have photogrammetry evidence that could not be denied at any stage.

Judge acquits 2 other accused