MULTAN-A local court on Friday remanded into custody all the six accused involved in BZ University student rape case four days. The investigation officer demanded 14-day physical remand, but the duty magistrate Riaz Ahmad Khan granted four-day remand.

On the other hand, the inquiry committee constituted by BZU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Tahir Ameen also started its investigation and recorded the statements of five persons on Friday. “The committee recorded the statements of current and former directors of the Saraiki Institute while more persons have been summoned on Saturday,” BZU sources disclosed. The three-member committee, which is consisted of Director Students Affairs Prof Ashraf Khan, Registrar Dr Umar Chaudhry and Prof Seema Mahmood, is directed to submit its report within two days.

The girl M, a student of Saraiki Department of BZU, had filed on January 25 an application with the SSP Operations Multan Saif Ullah Khattak, accusing her class fellow namely Ali, his four friends and her teacher Ajmal Mahaar of sexually abusing her.

An FIR (No 2/18) was registered by the women police station under sections 376, 109, 506 and 25-D of the Telegraph Act on the complaisant of Ms M. Police conducted successful raids and arrested all accused including the accused University teacher Ajmal Mahar, Ali Qureshi, Usman, Rashid and Tanzeel.

The BZU sources disclosed that the accused teacher Ajmal Mahaar had been involved in immoral activities in the past. “He was caught with a girl in his room in bachelors’ hostel in the university in 2010. The then university administration came to his rescue and shelved inquiry against him,” sources added. Similarly, police also recovered over 70 immoral video clips from the mobile phone of the main accused Ali Qureshi.

Although, the BZU spokesman claims that the female students had not filed any application, the complainant girl, insists that she had filed application with the VC office one year ago when she was subjected to sexual assaults by the teacher and his accomplices. “But no one listened to me. My application was not entertained,” she added.

Sources revealed that the medical examination of the girl had also been conducted by a medical board which showed that she was not subjected to any sexual assault during the last six months.

PCGA LAUDS OPPOSITION TO COTTON IMPORT

The Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association (PCGA) hailed on Friday Plant Protection Department (PPD) of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR) for opposing cotton import from India.

Addressing a news conference here, the PCGA leaders Haji Muhammad Akram (Chairman), Shehzad Ali Khan, Malik Talat Suhail, (Former Chairmen), Suhail Mehmood Haral, Sheikh Muhammad Aasim Saeed, and Rao Sadaruddin (Ex-Vice Chairmen) said that cotton import from India would completely ruin local agriculture. They demanded the government to impose strict checks on the quality of the imported cotton and ban the entry of contaminated and disease infected varieties into Pakistan.

They said that Pro-APTMA policies of present government at the cost of agriculture sector are not acceptable to ginners as well as growers. They said that India has been a major beneficiary of duty-free import of cotton yarn by Pakistan for about four years, which has badly hit the domestic industry and agricultural sector of the country under a well planned conspiracy. They said that there would be a huge loss of cash crop if the farmers adopted other crops. They added that the exemption from customs duty and sales tax may hit the domestic industry hard as it drove down demand for local cotton and pushed lower prices paid to farmers. The increase in imports mainly came from India that was providing huge subsidies in the form of duty drawback, interest rate concessions and infrastructure schemes for its cotton industry. Under these circumstances, import of cotton would be tantamount to slaughtering the growers and ginners who heave a sigh of relief after increasing the prices of cotton to reasonable level.

They revealed that more than 1.164 million bales of cotton were lying unsold in ginning factories. Another 10 to 15 percent bales are expected next month. They saw no justification for withdrawal of tax and customs duty on cotton import from India at the cost of Pakistan’s farmers, arguing fibre import via land or sea was not in the interest of national economy. If such imports continued without any curbs, they believed, such measures would harm cotton production in the country in the next season. Last year, cotton harvest had dropped 30% and if appropriate measures were not taken, the situation could deteriorate further and affect local output. They were of the view that the production cost was higher than the prices farmers were receiving for their harvest. They reiterated their demand for imposition of sales tax, customs duty and regulatory duty on the import of cotton from India or another country till the disposal of stock lying with the ginners.