Ishfaq-ul-Hassan, DNA India.COM
November 17, 2006
Shehnaz was arrested in 1995 for accidentally crossing the LoC
A local court in Poonch has convicted former J&K jail official Mohammad Deen in a rape case involving a Pakistani prisoner Kaunsar Parveen aka Shehnaz in 1995, who later gave birth to a baby girl in Nari Niketan at Jammu.
The court has adjourned the case till November 20, when it will read out the sentence to the convict.
The Shehnaz case had created furore after Pakistani authorities refused to allow her to return home with her daughter Mubon saying that the infant was a citizen of India and cannot be deported. After a long legal and diplomatic battle by lawyers and human rights groups, she was granted permission two years back.
Shehnaz inadvertently crossed the line of control when she tried to commit suicide by jumping in Raya Pandori canal in 1995. She was apprehended by the army and after sustained interrogation, she was handed over to the police and a case was registered against her. She was awarded one year imprisonment and shifted to the district jail in Poonch where she was raped by Deen.
Later, she was shifted to the central jail when she realised that she was pregnant. Though her jail mates and some authorities suggested that she abort the foetus, she decided against it. Though she was sentenced one year, yet she remained in the jail for seven years and was released on the intervention of noted lawyer AK Sawhney, who fought a long legal battle and secured her release. He also managed to get her compensation from the government.
“I give full credit to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The court ordered compensation of Rs3 lakh which is deposited in the name of Mubon. The money is still in the fixed deposit and will be Mubon’s when she is 18,” said Sawhney.