JMPC Gang Rape: Is there any hope for justice?


First appeared on Dawn.com

Photo Courtesy: Dawn.com

She still lies unconscious and heavily bandaged at the Intensive Care Unit at JPMC, writhing with pain and agony she slips in and out of consciousness, oblivious to her surroundings but still managing to appeal for help.

She is a 22-year-old trainee nurse who found unconscious in the lawn of a mess in the JPMC residential area on July 13. Upon examination, it was discovered that she was gang-raped and had allegedly jumped out of the window of an apartment in an attempt to escape.

For the over 350 nurses working in ward 24 of JPMC, harassment is not a new phenomenon but it was this victim’s gang-rape which compelled them to protest and go on strike in solidarity. It is deplorable that such an incident has taken place in a state-run hospital. Even worse is the fact that one of the rapists, Dr. Jabbar Memon, is a medico-legal officer who has an authority to investigate and determine criminal offences and, has the final word when it comes to analysing a crime and proving that an assault took place based on medical records. Memon has had a notorious reputation for harassing nurses at the hospital. When people like Memon are in charge, one can only imagine the kind of influence they have and the number of alleged rapists and criminals they might have helped escape. The incident makes one question if there is any hope for justice.

It’s devastating to learn that the victim had been complaining about being harassed by Memon long before the assault took place and she wasn’t the only one. But their pleas fell on deaf ears. Although, the Work Place Harassment Bill has been passed, her case is a classic example of how harassment in workplaces is hardly taken as a serious matter. Most of the times, such incidents are swept under the rug, which gives a freehand to the assailant and makes the victims vulnerable to such instances in the future. Institutions and companies prefer concealing facts to safeguard their reputation rather than taking a strong stance.

Even though Memon was sacked after the medico-legal report proved him guilty, he continues to receive medical care in a private institution whereas as the victim is still being treated in a government hospital. Is this what we call justice?

The victim’s family continues to receive threats and have requested for police protection. While she continues to fight for her life, there seems to be little hope for the working women who continue to put up with harassment on a daily basis. Mere laws will not help solve the problem at hand, the only solution is for the organisations and institutions to ensure maximum protection for their employees. No laws or legislatives can guarantee protection until those working within these places decide to take such matters seriously.

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13 thoughts on “JMPC Gang Rape: Is there any hope for justice?

  1. Country where laws are passed but are never implemented.

    I have a strong believe that top management and government authorities needs to be changed as currently no one seriously take such matters into considerations and take legal actions.

    Legal actions implementation as per Islamic rules are a must to stop such animal acts.

  2. This is so unfortunate and sad story… I wonder where the so-called “protectors” of daughters of Pakistan have gone now! Is only Afia Siddiqui Pakistan’s daughter? Doesn’t this 22-year old nurse deserve justice? Or justice is demanded in this land of pure for only those who are victimised by the America?

  3. Dear Sana,

    Thanks for bringing up this issue. I personally felt that this entire issue was underrepresented by the media but anyway. It means a lot to us – Pakistani Christians – that at least someone has raised a voice. Our prayers are with student and her family.

    Cedric

  4. Issues such as sexual harassment/abuse at the place of work or at many other public or private place give an idea of the type of education female and male Pakistani received from their childhood.

    One such channel of education that i believe the vast majority of Pakistani people must have gone through for generation is the madrassa.

    Such issues as the above clearly shows that such a channel is an utter failure.
    Madrassa have for generations after generations failed to educate some basic notions of the human beings.

    What an utter failure.

    In our daily material life there is no need for something to fail for us to throw it away.
    A lap top or a mobile does not have to fail for us to replace it. As soon as we feel that it does not match the existing technology, we move for a new one.

    Such should be so with our spiritual life.

  5. It is really unfortunate that doctors behave this way, i ma a fifth year student myself, and when i heard the news regarding this unfortunate event i was deeply saddened and disappointed immensely because it look like we are “manufacturing” doctors with out any regard for human life, dignity and feeling for others. We should be producing human being before we produce doctors !!!

  6. This is horrific and the rapist/medico guy should be brought to justice.

    But, it’s not really in the hands of the government where he gets treated, and where she gets treatment. It’s not like the government can or even should ask the private hospital to stop treatment.

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