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November 27, 2016
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‘Student may have been subjected to sexual abuse’

Karachi

November 27, 2016

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Senior doctors who examined a 13-year-old student of the Cadet College Larkana paralysed allegedly because of the torture inflicted on him by his instructors say that the people who subjected the boy to maltreatment might have sexually abused him or tried to do so during or after the act.

“It is highly likely that somebody tried to sexually abuse the boy and when he resistance, they strangled him,” a member of the special medical board formed to examine the boy told The News on Saturday.

“The strangulation led to cerebral hypoxia, in which blood supply to his brain stopped and his thyroid and some other cartilages in the neck broke,” he added.

The father of the boy, Muhammad Hussain Mashori, too suspects that the people who tortured his son tried to sexually abuse him. He submitted an application to the Dokri police station in Larkana but the police refused to register an FIR saying that it was beyond their jurisdiction and they could not investigate any incident involving the Cadet College Larkana.

“At the moment, I’m concerned about the health and well-being of my child but whatever happened to my son should be investigated by the authorities and whoever did this to him should be dealt with sternly,” Mashori said.

A special medical board had examined the boy on Friday at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre and recommended sending him to an ENT-otolaryngologist in Cincinnati, US, where his treatment was possible.

The 10-member board headed by neurosurgeon and head of Civil Hospital Karachi neurology department Prof Junaid Ashraf after examining Hussain had observed that the boy’s thyroid cartilage in the neck was broken and his injuries indicated that he was subjected to torture.

The board had also recommended that that the boy should be sent to Dr Robin T Cotton, who is known for his work in paediatric otolaryngology and is the director of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the examination, some senior members of the board suspected that the boy could have been subjected to sexual abuse or there might have been an attempt to do so by his attackers.

“Sexual abuse in the board schools are a nightmare for parents and many of them don’t send their children to other cities to live in hostels fearing that they could be subjected to sexual abuse,” said the board member, who is a senior doctor.

He added that an investigation should be launched to ascertain what had actually happened to the boy that caused his condition.

The doctor, however, deplored that neither the boy was in a condition to reveal what had happened to him nor the authorities including police or the officials of the Cadet College Larkana were disclosing anything.

Commenting on reports of sexual abuse at cadet colleges, a senior faculty member of the Pakistan Steel Cadet College said because of such occurrence in the past, strict precautionary measures had been adopted by cadet colleges these days to protect junior cadets and faculty and other staff were always looking after them.

“Young cadets are kept on ground floors of hostels. They are not allowed to visit the rooms of seniors and other precautionary measures have been taken too for their protection. A standard operating procedure was adopted by cadet colleges after some incidents of sexual abuse were reported in the past,” the faculty member said.

“Any person, who is even suspected of making such an attempt, is expelled from the institution without wasting a second,” he added.

Investigation

Following two massive protest demonstrations by the relatives of the boy and members of the Jamaat-e-Qasimia of Mashori Shareef in Larkana and Jacobabad, the Larkana police said it was ready to investigate the case.

DIG Larkana Abdullah Shaikh said in a statement that after the medical examination of the boy by senior doctors, now his parents could lodge an FIR against anyone.

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