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PEMRA Bans Coverage Of Motorway Rape Incident

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The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has imposed a ban on the coverage of the motorway rape incident in compliance with the directives of an anti-terrorism court.

According to the ATC that ‘one of the accused has been shifted to the judicial lock-up for the purpose of identification parade and if media coverage of the instant case is not stopped, it will certainly diminish the evidentiary worth of the material collected by the prosecution’.

The court further said that it was an ‘offence related to sex and certainly due to media coverage, concerned victim and her family will also be disgraced. So, Chairman PEMRA is hereby directed to stop the coverage of the case’.

Subsequently, a notification issued by PEMRA said that all ‘satellite TV channels are directed to comply with the above orders of the anti-terrorism court regarding the Sialkot motorway incident in letter and spirit and refrain from airing any content with regard to the instant case in future’.

In case of non-compliance, PEMRA shall be constrained to initiate legal action under enabling provisions of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by the PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, the notification added.

Rape on motorway:

A woman was allegedly raped by two men in front of her children after her car ran out of gas near Gujjarpura, Lahore, on Sept 18.

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Police said the woman, a resident of Gujranwala, was returning to the city from Lahore on Tuesday night when her car ran out of petrol.

Geo News reported that the woman called her husband, who advised her to call Motorway Police for help until he got there. However, the Motorway Police operator excused from helping the woman, saying the emergency beat had not been assigned to anyone.

As she was left to her own devices on the deserted road, two armed men approached the vehicle and smashed its windows. They then took the woman and her children out of the car and took them into a nearby field after cutting the fence along the road to rape her. The report said the woman was also deprived of Rs100,000, jewelry, and ATM cards.

Police using outdated technology to arrest suspect

Punjab Police have failed to arrest the key suspect in the motorway rape case even after the passage of two weeks.

According to police high-ups, the suspect, Abid Malhi, has yet to be traced despite multiple raids conducted by police teams on his alleged hideouts.

“Our multiple teams are working on various leads and the suspect will be apprehended soon,” IGP Inam Ghani was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.

The newspaper however reported that the reason police have failed to detain the suspect is the use of ‘outdated technology’. The report quoted a police officer as saying that the police teams ‘searched for the suspects in fields of small districts instead of tracing them through the latest technologies’.

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The police are using ‘2G mobile phone call locator’ to trace Abid Malhi while the suspect might have been using a 4G smartphone to communicate, it added. “The police had been using this outdated gadget for the last many years ignoring the latest modern equipment and 4G smartphone communications to trace the wanted criminals,” the newspaper added.

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