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Usman Mirza sentenced to life in sexual assault case

After the hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani awarded life imprisonment to Usman Mirza, Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Farhan Shaheen, and Mohib Bangash.

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An Islamabad court sentenced the main accused Usman Mirza to life in the E-11 couple harassment and sexual assault case. Others accused also received life sentences.

Additional Sessions Judge Atta Rabbani announced the verdict. The case was heard in the Additional Sessions Court Islamabad where the police produced all the accused including Usman Mirza in the court.

After the hearing, Additional Sessions Judge Ata Rabbani awarded life imprisonment to Usman Mirza, Hafiz Ataur Rehman, Adaras Qayyum Butt, Farhan Shaheen, and Mohib Bangash. However, two co-accused Umar Bilal and Rehan were acquitted.

Last year, a horrific video went viral on social media in which the main accused Usman Mirza violently thrashed and harassed a young couple in a room full of men. The viral video shows he beat and physically tortured the couple. Usman Mirza also allegedly stripped the girl.

Hours after the video went viral, the Islamabad police arrested Mirza and filed a first information report (FIR) in the case.

The incident sparked anger in Pakistan and stirred a debate on the safety of women. Netizens called for the arrest of Usman Mirza, with Twitter trends running against him.

Read more: Police arrests Usman Mirza for sexually harassing a couple

Even Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of the incident. He called IG Islamabad Capital Police Qazi Jameel-ur-Rehman and took the details of the case. As per the media reports, he ordered an investigation of the case and punish the culprits as soon as possible.

Victims retract statements

While registering the case, the female victim said Usman Mirza and the other accused had “threatened to gang-rape her if she did not have sex with her friend while they filmed it.”

The victim said Usman Mirza forced her to perform a nude dance in front of him and his accomplices. She also added that the culprits beat her when she refused. Important to note, the video of the incident is also available.

However, earlier this year, the victims refused to recognize the main accused in the case. The female victim also submitted an affidavit to deny perusing the case any further.

According to the female victim, the police created the case. She claimed they took her signature along with thumb impressions on blank papers multiple times. She also denied that Usman Mirza ever sexually assaulted her.

Read more: Another woman claims to be harassed, blackmailed by Usman Mirza

This came as a blow to Pakistanis as they expressed concern that the victim is being blackmailed and once again the powerful will escape justice.

On the other hand, SSP Atta ur Rehman said despite the victim’s retraction, there is enough strong video and forensic evidence to convict the accused. The government later announced to pursue the case itself in court.

Major win

Needless to say, Pakistan is rejoicing over the decision. Important to note, last month Pakistan also applauded the death sentence to Zahir Jaffer in the Noor Mukaddam murder case. According to public opinion, such decisions serve as a warning that no one is above the law.

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