Map: Rapes reported in Karachi so far in 2021

The story of how we gathered and mapped data
The ages of suspected rape victims who underwent medico-legal exams in Karachi January to June 2021. Image: SAMAA Digital
The ages of suspected rape victims who underwent medico-legal exams in Karachi January to June 2021. Image: SAMAA Digital
The data from Karachi's jails on men arrested by police station Jan-June 2021 for rape cases. Image: SAMAA Digital
The data from Karachi's jails on men arrested by police station Jan-June 2021 for rape cases. Image: SAMAA Digital
A map showing the medico-legal examinations conducted in rape cases in Karachi in the first six months of 2021 at 3 major hospitals. Art: M. Obair/SAMAA Digital
A map showing the medico-legal examinations conducted in rape cases in Karachi in the first six months of 2021 at 3 major hospitals. Art: M. Obair/SAMAA Digital

How many women and girls were raped in Karachi in the first six months of 2021? The answer to this question is extremely hard to reach because the government, hospitals and police don’t really make this data available.

We went looking for an answer. Our first visit was to the Police Surgeon’s office off MA Jinnah Road. The police surgeon Dr Hamid Jilani tried to convince us that most rape cases were “fake”. His theory is that they are mostly homeless, beggars who are used by powerful men to exact revenge on others. Despite us making repeated requests, he refused to share the data.

Our hope was that the Office of the Police Surgeon would have computerised collated data on the medico-legal examinations of women and girls across Karachi. A medico-legal examination to check for rape, collect samples for DNA testing and other evidence has to be done by a woman medico-legal officer (a doctor). These examinations take place in Karachi’s government hospitals, the biggest of which are Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Nazimabad, Civil Hospital, Karachi in Saddar and Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, off Shahrah-e-Faisal. (If a rape victim goes to a private hospital, the staff have to alert the police.)

Karachi rapes in 2021-SAMAA DIgital
A map showing the medico-legal examinations conducted in rape cases in Karachi in the first six months of 2021 at 3 major hospitals. Art: M. Obair/SAMAA Digital

Since the Police Surgeon was not very forthcoming, we took the long route and went to each of the major government hospitals. At Abbasi, Civil and Jinnah, the medico-legal officers gave us access to the “rape registers”. It is a sensitive business. We painstakingly documented each medico-legal rape exam case by date, age and police station. We did not note down the names or any other identifying aspect of the cases because it would be unethical as victim confidentiality has to be maintained.

We were able to thus pull the raw data from January to June 2021 from the three tertiary care government hospitals. A total of 302 medico-legal examinations were conducted in this time period. However, the rape registers only give a sense of an examination conducted—in no way can this be interpreted as the number of rapes. In many cases the WMLO will reach the conclusion and write the analysis that the woman or girl was raped. But in many cases, the files did not contain subsequent investigations, such as the DNA results. The rape register does not tell you how the case proceeded in court and if the men were caught and convicted. They just give us a sense of how many women and girls came forward to be examined because they had said they were raped. 

A snippet of a medico-legal form

This data set includes 19 examinations of apparent rape victims performed on the request of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC), two on requisition from the Woman Police Station in Saddar and one case referred from Cantt Railway police station.

We then went to Karachi’s jails and acquired the data for the same January to June 2021 period of every man who had been brought in on a rape charge. Fortunately, the jail data gives the date of arrest, the police station and the date of conviction for rape and gang rape cases. We were unable to match each rape case to jail cases, but as you will see, both sets give us a fair sense of how police stations have been handling these cases. 

The last and most crucial part of this story is a map. To the best of our knowledge, no map of Karachi’s police station jurisdictions is available for the public. We acquired maps and data from police stations and stitched it together, and verified and double checked it. Our hope is that this effort will go a long way in service of the citizens of Karachi.

A map of Karachi police stations colour graded by rapes reported

What the data and mapping show us

A clear trend emerged when we mapped the alleged rape cases by police station.

The highest number of medico-legal rape examinations fell in the Korangi Industrial Area police station jurisdiction (15), followed by Sachal (12). It is working class neighbourhoods and industrial areas where women are coming forward with complaints of rape. The other police stations cover Karachi’s outskirts. 

The hotspot is Karachi’s East Zone (East, Malir and Korangi districts). This area had over half of the city’s alleged rapes. 

The graph of the age groups of rape victims in Karachi
The ages of suspected rape victims who underwent medico-legal exams in Karachi January to June 2021. Image: SAMAA Digital

“Socio-economic burden, easy and unchecked access to the internet and poverty are the reasons behind the growing number of rape cases in the district,” District Malir Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Irfan Bahadur told Samaa Digital.

District Malir is less urban and mostly Karachi’s outskirts where an overwhelming number of people are poor and from the labour class.

“If psychological tests of the residents were conducted then you may easily emerge with the conclusion that a majority of them are experiencing frustration and depression,” the SSP said. 

A snippet of a filled-in medico-legal form

The SSP made the frank admission that he felt that rape in the district is under-reported. “Just the other day, I had a meeting with East-II Investigation SSP, and he told me that District Malir police is receiving 25 to 30 complaints of rape in a month," the SSP said.

Some of the rape cases are settled in a panchayat and mohalla committee and very few people decide to go to the police to register an FIR. “The only reason people avoid to lodging a complaint of rape with the police is fear of infamy,” the SSP said.

Many areas of the city are blank with no cases emerging in 27 out of the 108 police stations.

“My rough assessment is that 10 times cases go unreported,” said Dr Summaiya, the Additional Police Surgeon who runs the medico-legal section at at JPMC. “We’re not getting them from Defence… we’re not getting them from homes, like bungalows. We aren’t getting them from apartments. Why are we just getting reported rapes from katchi abadis?”

Arrests in rape cases by Karachi police station (2)
The data from Karachi's jails on men arrested by police station Jan-June 2021 for rape cases. Image: SAMAA Digital

How are rape cases reported?

According to Dr Summaiya, there are two ways in which a rape case is reported. At JPMC, they will receive direct, walk-in patients. The girl or woman is brought in by their mother or father instead of the family going to the police. The JPMC ML staff conducts the exam, takes samples and records the entry at the Police Control that then informs the relevant police station based on where the family says the rape took place.
The second way a rape case can be reported is through the police station itself. The accompanied victim will come with a letter or copy of the FIR or request from the police station for a medico-legal exam to be conducted. 

What does the medico-legal form document?

We learnt that the form where the medico-legal examination is documented is one of the most crucial parts of managing these cases. The old form, for example, did not mention if the victim’s clothes had been checked.

Details such as whether the victim had taken a bath after the rape (washing away evidence), had passed urine or stool, need to be documented. The form mentions marital status, including the option of divorced, because as Dr Summaiya says, even divorced women can be raped. It was not previously part of the form.

A blank medico-legal form used at JPMC

Even gait was added in the form. No one used to consider gait or how the woman was walking. “A woman who has been gang raped, how can her gait be normal?” she pointed out.
She added the number of children as the vaginal anatomy changes if a woman has had children, and whether they were born naturally or through a C-section. This has to be factored in if she says she was raped. “If a woman has had four normal deliveries, and she shows no injuries, it does not mean she was not raped,” she explained.

Dr Summaiya is a UN certified gender-based violence trainer. She explained why she made changes to add more details to the form because this is where she can catch out medical-legal staff who may be negligent or corrupt. If for example, the details documented all point to rape, but the officer did not reach this analytical conclusion at the end, Dr Summaiya knows there is something amiss. “This is where I catch them,” she says.

Rapes in Karachi graph 2013 to 2020

Dr Summaiya wishes more resources were put into properly training and paying medico-legal officers, of which there is an extreme shortage in Sindh. “They say, bring the mark of violence. Where do I get a mark of violence from?” she says referring to the way in which the law enforcement and legal authorities treat rape cases. “When you haven’t examined the patient head to toe, how can you say no mark of violence? It is a 14 year old bachi. Have you checked her elbows? You need the eye to see. You need that thing which you have between your ears. What the mind does not know, the eye does not see. Did you check the girl’s nails? Is there debris under the nails? Get the DNA tested... I had three cases in which the assailant was identified by nail debris DNA alone. And I got a conviction.”  

It would take very little to fix the system, perhaps just as little as Rs500,000 for a proper software to computerise medico-legal documentation. Dr Summaiya also dreams of online testimony so that the precious few MLOs don’t need to wait at court when they are needed more at the hospitals. Rape kits cost Rs50 but even these funds are not always available. Sometimes they have to steal sheets from the Edhi ambulances so they can seal evidence. They need envelopes to be able to seal delicate evidence such as nail clippings. Dr Summaiya said that she sets aside Rs800 to buy the rape kits herself.

Examination dateAge Police JurisdictionML Section
January 116Iqbal MarketASH
January 217MominabadASH
January 318NazimabadASH
January 49LiaquatabadASH
January 413Civil LineJPMC
January 523JauharabadASH
January 511JacksonCHK
January 532Gulshan-e-IqbalJPMC
January 630Defence JPMC
January 620Defence JPMC
January 830SurjaniASH
January 922Steel TownJPMC
January 1122Ibrahim HyderiJPMC
January 1230Sir SyedASH
January 1217Iqbal MarketASH
January 1217KalriCHK
January 1532Mobina TownASH
January 1525Sir SyedASH
January 1513Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
January 1531Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
January 1515LandhiJPMC
January 1680-90New Karachi Industrial AreaASH
January 1613GadapJPMC
January 1710SukhanJPMC
January 1813AVCC/CIACHK
January 187AVCC/CIACHK
January 1820Sharafi GothJPMC
January 1816Malir CityJPMC
January 2028Memon GothJPMC
January 2120Civil LinesCHK
January 2219ManghopirASH
January 2317PaposhnagarASH
January 2318SukkhanJPMC
January 2313KorangiJPMC
January 2518HyderiASH
January 2633Mobina TownASH
January 2912HyderiASH
January 2912AVCC/CIACHK
January 2919SaddarCHK
January 298Sharafi GothJPMC
January 3035Iqbal MarketASH
January 3030SurjaniASH
January 3023PaposhnagarASH
January 3018Sachal JPMC
January 3011Sachal JPMC
February 121JacksonCHK
February 130JacksonCHK
February 125Zaman TownJPMC
February 19Bin QasimJPMC
February 120KorangiJPMC
February 419MoachkoCHK
February 417ShershahCHK
February 410Shah Faisal ColonyJPMC
February 520Orangi TownASH
February 538Steel TownJPMC
February 713ManghopirASH
February 718Aziz BhattiJPMC
February 79Ibrahim HyderiJPMC
February 818ManghopirASH
February 824Shah FaisalJPMC
February 915JacksonCHK
February 1118Zaman TownJPMC
February 119Sharafi GothJPMC
February 1215MominabadASH
February 1216Steel TownJPMC
February 1317GulbaharASH
February 1320Malir CanttJPMC
February 1310Malir CanttJPMC
February 1328Malir CanttJPMC
February 1518GulbaharASH
February 1518Gabol TownASH
February 1515Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
February 1514Tipu SultanJPMC
February 1617Iqbal MarketASH
February 1618GulbergASH
February 1624Zaman TownJPMC
February 1640Steel TownJPMC
February 1725Gulshan-e-IqbalJPMC
February 1714Sachal JPMC
February 1821AVCC/CIACHK
February 1815BrigadeJPMC
February 1930Gadap CityASH
February 1927SITE Super HighwayASH
February 2013Malir CityJPMC
February 2022MehmoodabadJPMC
February 204SukkhanJPMC
February 2218BaldiaCHK
February 225Ibrahim HyderiJPMC
February 2427Zaman TownJPMC
February 2534Mobina TownASH
February 2535KharadarCHK
February 2519KharadarCHK
February 2518SahilJPMC
February 2616Orangi TownASH
February 2614AVCC/CIACHK
February 2612AVCC/CIACHK
February 2615KalriCHK
February 2610ShershahCHK
February 2645Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
February 2613Malir CityJPMC
February 2617Steel TownJPMC
February 2711SurjaniASH
February 2816ManghopirASH
March 110SurjaniASH
March 114Shah Faisal ColonyJPMC
March 218Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
March 218Sohrab Goth JPMC
March 414Ibrahim HyderiJPMC
March 49Shah Faisal ColonyJPMC
March 43Federal B Industrial AreaJPMC
March 518Eid GahCHK
March 520Sachal JPMC
March 618SaeedabadCHK
March 635Sachal JPMC
March 830Mobina TownASH
March 98Zaman TownJPMC
March 1025Pakistan BazaarASH
March 1038Sachal JPMC
March 1121Boat BasinJPMC
March 1218Ittehad TownCHK
March 1218DocksCHK
March 1440SITE Super HighwayASH
March 1425SITE Super HighwayASH
March 1417SaddarCHK
March 1512JacksonCHK
March 1519Ibrahim HyderiJPMC
March 1630Sohrab GothASH
March 1617Soldier BazaarCHK
March 1720Iqbal MarketASH
March 1720Iqbal MarketASH
March 1813DocksCHK
March 189KalakotCHK
March 1814Khwaja Ajmer NagriCHK
March 2014Pakistan BazaarASH
March 2024ManghopirASH
March 2027MominabadASH
March 2018SaeedabadCHK
March 2040Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
March 209Model ColonyJPMC
March 2027Woman Police Station SaddarJPMC
March 2146SupermarketASH
March 2111KorangiJPMC
March 2122BrigadeJPMC
March 2219MominabadASH
March 2223Shah Faisal ColonyJPMC
March 2414Malir CityJPMC
March 2531Shah Faisal ColonyJPMC
March 2512SukkhanJPMC
March 2615BaghdadiCHK
March 2618Ittehad TownCHK
March 2612Woman Police Station SaddarJPMC
March 266AirportJPMC
March 2717Shahrah-e-Nur JehanASH
March 2712Cantt Railway Police StationJPMC
March 2815Pakistan BazaarASH
March 2817Bin QasimJPMC
March 2916Khwaja Ajmer NagriASH
March 3021GadapASH
March 3017Pirabad ASH
March 3036Boat BasinCHK
March 306Awami ColonyJPMC
March 3016Sachal JPMC
March 3030Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
March 3014Sachal JPMC
March 3119Zaman TownJPMC
March 3122Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
April 125GulbergASH
April 211Zaman TownJPMC
April 417Sachal JPMC
April 515New KarachiASH
April 522Sachal JPMC
April 722Pakistan BazaarASH
April 818MehmoodabadCHK
April 95SITE A ASH
April 923Awami ColonyJPMC
April 922Sharae FaisalJPMC
April 1016AirportJPMC
April 1013Memon GothJPMC
April 1115SurjaniASH
April 1115-16SurjaniASH
April 1114Steel TownJPMC
April 1335Sharae FaisalJPMC
April 1420Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
April 1431Malir CityJPMC
April 1630Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
April 1726GulbergASH
April 1727Zaman TownJPMC
April 1920Baloch ColonyJPMC
April 2027PaposhnagarASH
April 2125MehmoodabadJPMC
April 2229Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
April 2317Sohrab GothASH
April 2511Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
April 277Model ColonyJPMC
April 2926Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
May 118Sohrab GothASH
May 124Model ColonyJPMC
May 14Sharae FaisalJPMC
May 217GizriJPMC
May 325TaimuriaASH
May 319TaimuriaASH
May 324TaimuriaASH
May 323TaimuriaASH
May 325TaimuriaASH
May 48PIB ColonyASH
May 716Shah Latif TownJPMC
May 119Pirabad ASH
May 1113Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
May 1411ShershahCHK
May 1410ShershahCHK
May 1412ShershahCHK
May 1514TaimuriaASH
May 164MominabadASH
May 1628Baloch Colony JPMC
May 1722JacksonCHK
May 1710Baloch ColonyJPMC
May 176Sharafi GothJPMC
May 1845SurjaniASH
May 1842SurjaniASH
May 1822Iqbal MarketASH
May 1816Ittehad TownCHK
May 1818KorangiJPMC
May 1926Sir SyedASH
May 2020MehmoodabadJPMC
May 208Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
May 2025Sharae FaisalJPMC
May 2028Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
May 2020Baloch ColonyJPMC
May 2121Madina ColonyCHK
May 2121Shah Latif TownJPMC
May 2113AirportJPMC
May 2114AirportJPMC
May 2218GulbergASH
May 2215Sachal JPMC
May 2416Pirabad ASH
May 247Awami ColonyJPMC
May 2512Pak ColonyCHK
May 2614AirportJPMC
May 2840Bin QasimJPMC
May 2919Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
May 3019Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
May 3016KorangiJPMC
May 3142Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
June 17ChakiwaraCHK
June 113Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
June 317Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
June 320Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
June 513Ibrahim HyderiJPMC
June 68SaudabadJPMC
June 740MangopirASH
June 715ChakiwaraCHK
June 714ChakiwaraCHK
June 839Bin QasimJPMC
June 917Sohrab GothASH
June 1118SITE Super HighwayASH
June 1119Sharae FaisalJPMC
June 1244Shahrah-e-Nur JehanASH
June 1219GulbergASH
June 1219SukkhanJPMC
June 1219Tipu SultanJPMC
June 1425SITE Super HighwayASH
June 1420NapierCHK
June 1417JamshedCHK
June 1520Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
June 1614Shah Latif Town JPMC
June 1833Soldier BazaarCHK
June 1817Soldier BazaarCHK
June 1828Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
June 1815Gulistan-e-JauharJPMC
June 1815BrigadeJPMC
June 1920Zaman TownJPMC
June 2023FerozabadJPMC
June 2020Sachal JPMC
June 2114KharadarCHK
June 2133Malir CityJPMC
June 2234SurjaniASH
June 2232HyderiASH
June 2216AVCCCHK
June 2214Korangi Industrial AreaJPMC
June 2316SaudabadJPMC
June 2319MehmoodabadJPMC
June 2515Aziz BhattiJPMC
June 2622Shahrah-e-Nur JehanASH
June 2630DocksJPMC
June 2928SaeedabadCHK
June 3015Iqbal MarketASH
June 3019SITE Super HighwayASH
June 3016Bilal ColonyCHK
June 3016Sharae FaisalJPMC
DISTRICT WEST police stationsNo of rapes reported for which ML done
Iqbal Market8
Pakistan Bazaar4
DISTRICT CENTRAL police stationsML rape cases
Azizabad 0
Bilal Colony1
FB Ind. Area1
Gabol Town 1
Gulberg 5
Hyderi Market 3
Jauhrabad 1
Kh. Ajmer Nagri2
Liaquatabad 1
New Karachi1
Samnabad 0
Shahrae Noor Jehan3
Sir Syed3
Taimuria 6
Yusuf Plaza0
DISTRICT CITY police stationsML rape cases
City Court0
Nabi Bux0
DISTRICT KEAMARI ML for rape cases
Ittehad Town3
Jackson 6
Madina Colony1
Pak Colony1
Saeedabad 3
DISTRICT SOUTH ML for rape cases
Artillery Maidan0
Boat Basin2
Civil Lines2
EAST ZONE police stations ML for rape cases
Aziz Bhatti2
Baloch Colony4
Jamshed Quarters1
Mehmoodabad 5
Mobina Town4
New Town0
PIB Colony1
Sachal 12
Site S. Highway6
Sohrab Goth5
Soldier Bazaar3
Tipu Sultan2
KORANGI (East Zone) ML for rape cases
Awami Colony3
Korangi 5
Korangi Ind. Area15
Landhi 1
Model Colony3
Shah Faisal Colony6
Zaman Town9
MALIR (East zone)ML for rape cases
Airport 5
Bin Qasim4
Gadap City3
Ibrahim Haidery6
Malir Cantt3
Malir City6
Memon Goth2
Quaidabad 0
Shah Latif3
Sharafi Goth4
Steel Town6
Age in years No of victims who had an ML in Karachi Jan-Jun 2021
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