Muzzafargarh Health CEO rejects anti-polio worker’s rape attempt claim

  • Investigation reveals personal conflict was motive behind these allegations; no ‘harm’ to anti-polio drive in region 

Muzzafargarh Health CEO on Sunday rejected the claims of lady health worker administering polio drops in Jatio tehsil of Muzzafargarh, saying the health worker had planted a ‘self-made story’.

On Saturday, a police spokesman in Muzaffargarh had said the health worker alleged that four men dragged her into a room, tore her lower dress off, took photos of her and tried to rape her but her screaming caught the attention of the nearby people and the suspects managed to escape.

The incident took place on Friday when she was working in a home during the anti-polio drive.

After the reports of the alleged rape attempt, the CEO had asked the concerning officers to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter. Upon culmination, the investigators told the CEO health that there is neither polio vaccination refusal case nor an EPI refusal case in the locality where the anti-polio worker, Samia Kiran, was on duty.

The investigation officer quoting community members and volunteers said that the issue was related to a personal conflict and that the woman ‘made up’ the story.

The inquiry further disclosed with “impartiality” that “there has been a family clash of the concerned anti-polio worker with her husband Rabnawaz Kharwala and her brother-in-laws. Both parties have had filed suit against each other in the court of law. However, it did not mention the link between the two.

The officers also briefed the CEO that on Jan 18, 2017, which was the fourth day of the anti-polio drive, the LHW had left for Muzaffargarh to attend a court hearing without a prior permission from in-charge Asmat Zahra. Her absent was marked by concerned officers as well, they said.

When Kiran came to know that the court had granted exemption to her husband from all the cases, she “decided to merge this issue with the polio campaign in order to gain government sympathy keeping in view the fact that polio duty has become sensitive issue throughout Pakistan, it was the right time to take undue advantage” of the limelight.

On January 19—the day she says she was assaulted— she along with volunteer Samina Bibi went to Basti Kharwala.

“The media was called upon at the BHU by the Samia Kiran Saturday afternoon when the morning staff had left after discharging their duties. In absence of staff recorded a short video clip in front of the media, which was had gone viral on social media.”

The investigation concluded that the matter is of “personal conflict and not relevant” to the anti-polio campaign.