Islamabad: Three personnel of Pakistan's Border Military Police force and two civilians have been accused of raping five women after stopping their car at a check post for routine check in Punjab province. All the policemen have denied the charges but are absconding.
The incident took place at the border force police station Fort Munro, 85 km from Dera Ghazi Khan, one of the most populous cities in the province, Geo News reported.
The five women hail from Lahore and were visiting Dera Ghazi Khan, said Border Military Police commander Tariq Basra.
The women identified the officials as Amjad Ali, Muhammad Zafar and Naveed Iqbal. They said there was one civilian named Majeed Leghari as well as an unidentified fifth man.
The accused policemen told Geo News from an unknown location that they were innocent and were willing to turn themselves in if the government agreed to the condition of a fair trial.
Three of the policemen said it was nothing more than an attempt to settle a score over a spat that took place at the check-post where they had stopped a car.
"We stopped a car for routine checking, but the occupants of the vehicle -- five girls and two men -- refused to cooperate with us, forcing us to take stricter measures," said one of the accused policemen.
He said he and his fellow officers were only trying to ensure the standard operating procedures, but the people in the car had no respect for the law of the land.
"Irked by our persistence, the two men climbed down the car and tried to pick a fight with us. We somehow brought the situation under control and the violators went away fuming, that too without showing any ID or letting us frisk them or check their vehicle," the policeman said.
Claiming innocence, he said all the accused were shocked when they saw media reports about the rape.
They offered to produce themselves before any court if a fair trial is promised.
Another media report said three police officials and two of their accomplices allegedly gang raped five women tourists from Lahore and Bahawalpur at the Fort Munro hill station on Saturday.
Police said three officials of the Fort Munro border military police -- responsible for maintenance of law and order in the tribal belt -- stopped a vehicle carrying five women and a man on Thursday night on the pretext of checking.
The women told police they were kidnapped by the border policemen and taken to a private house where they were gang raped by three police officials -- Ali, Zafar and Iqbal -- the civilian Majeed Leghari and an unidentified fifth man.
They said they were freed on Friday morning, and reached Dera Ghazi Khan and filed a police complaint.
A case was filed on the complaint of Asif Imran, the fiancé of one of the women.
The five women would be presented before a judicial magistrate on Monday to record their statement.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif have ordered the Dera Ghazi Khan commissioner to submit a detailed report in this connection.