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Minor girl, boy molested, murdered in KP, Punjab

CHARSADDA/ RAHIM YAR KHAN: A two-and-a-half-year-old minor was raped in Charsadda city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a 12-year-old-boy was sodomised in Rahim Yar Khan city of Punjab. Both were killed after the acts as incidents of rape and sodomy are on the rise in the country.

The police arrested eight suspects in the gory incident of kidnapping and subsequent rape and murder case of the minor girl and took them to an undisclosed location for interrogation, officials said on Thursday.

Gloom prevailed in the area after the gory incident in the Sheikh Killay Qilla. Minor Zainab, daughter of Akhtar Munir of Sheikh Killay Qilla area, had gone missing on the evening of October 6 while playing with other children outside her house. Her father had registered a first information report (FIR) at the Prang Police Station, Charsadda, against unknown kidnappers. The body of the missing child was found in the fields in Jabba Koroona area in the limits of Daudzai Police Station of Peshawar on Wednesday.

The Prang police were informed about the body of a girl lying in the Jabba Koroona area. The Prang and Daudzai police stations recovered the body and shifted it to the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar for postmortem. The postmortem report confirmed that the girl was raped before being stabbed to death. The Prang Police Station added relevant sections of rape and murder to the FIR already registered about the kidnapping of the girl.

Around eight suspected persons were arrested during the search operation conducted by the police teams constituted soon after the tragic incident. They were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation. District Police Officer Mohammad Shoab Khan said that a special team headed by Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Darvesh Khan to apprehend the accused involved in the gruesome crime. The parents of the girl have asked the government to arrest the accused and award them exemplary punishment. They demanded the government to hang the accused publicly

Meanwhile, taking notice of the incident, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed the Inspector General of Police and other authorities for immediate arrest of people involved in the incident. Speaking at a press conference along with Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mardan Range, Sher Akbar Khan, Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi said that a team had collected some evidence from the scene of occurrence. The IGP said that the DNA test result would be obtained in a few days, while the detailed medical report about the sexual assault was yet to be received. The top cop said that all the accused involved in the murder of Zainab would soon be apprehended.

Meanwhile, a man sodomised a 10-year-old boy, killed him and then dumped his body in sugarcane fields in Rahim Yar Khan on Thursday. The police recovered the body of the deceased and handed it over to heirs for burial after postmortem. While the police registered a case, the Punjab chief minister took notice and sought a report from the DPO Rahim Yar Khan.

Nisar Ahmed, a resident of Basti Mid Mangla, Moza Ghanian, informed the police that he owns land and had hired a young man Pervez Lashari. On Wednesday evening, Lashari lured his 10-year-old son Muhammad Abdullah to take something with him on a motorcycle and never returned. After a search, the body of Abdullah was found lying naked in a nearby crop field. He had been strangled after being sodomized. The police registered a case of murder against the accused on the complaint of Nisar and arrested Lashari who confessed to the crime.

Arshad Aziz Malik adds from Peshawar: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has recorded an increase in child abuse cases during the eight months of the current year, which is an alarming situation for the society.

In 2018, there were 145 incidents of abuse of boys and girls out of which 143 cases were registered. In 2019, 185 boys and girls were sexually assaulted. However, during the eight months of the current year, there have been 184 incidents so far, out of which 182 cases have been registered. The figures for the month of September 2020 are not available yet.

In 2018, eight children were killed after rape, while in 2019, three boys and girls were killed after rape. Four children were killed after being raped in the first eight months of this year.

Hangu, Kohistan Lower, Kohistan Upper and Kurram districts have not registered any case of sexual assault during the last and the current year. As many as 211 accused were arrested in 2018 while 264 were arrested in 2019. Similarly, 235 accused were arrested this year. Two children were killed in Nowshera and Mardan last year while a girl was killed in district Kurram. Four children were killed this year in Mardan, Mansehra, Nowshera and Kohat after being sexually abused.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi said that in the past, incidents of child abuse were not recorded, but now the police have been strictly instructed to register all cases. He said the increase in reporting is due to the fact that the police are registering every case and the accused are being arrested. The police arrested 235 suspects involved in child abuse and murder this year. He claimed that 198 cases were registered in 2019.

He said that in the past, due to social conservatism, people did not lodge reports in police stations but now people are informing the police. "Attitudes and trends in the society need to change. Strict action is being taken against culprits besides raising awareness in the society. The whole society must work together to put an end to this heinous act," the KP Police chief said.

According to official records of the last few years available with this scribe, 42 boys and girls were sexually abused in Peshawar in 2019, while 27 cases were registered in the eight months of this year. Four children were sexually abused in Charsadda last year, while five cases were registered in the current year. In Nowshera, 27 cases were reported last year and 13 kids were sexually abused in the first eight months of this year.

In Mardan, 42 boys and girls were raped last year, while this year, 19 were sexually abused. In Swabi, one boy was reported last year, while this year, seven cases were registered. As many as 12 boys and girls were sexually abused in Kohat last year while nine were targeted during this year. Last year, two boys and a girl were sexually abused in Karak, while four boys were sexually abused in eight months.

Similarly, in Abbottabad, five cases were reported last year, while this year, five cases were registered till now. In Haripur, only one case was reported last year but this year, the cases increased to four. In Mansehra, 17 kids were sexually abused last year, while this year, eight cases were reported. In Batagram, one case was registered last year, while not a single case has been registered till now.

Five boys and girls were sexually abused in Bannu in 2019, while 3 cases were reported in eight months of the current year. Eight cases were reported in the Lakki Marwat district last year while four cases were registered in 2020. The Dera Ismail Khan Police registered four cases last year and this year, 34 cases were reported. In Tank, two cases were reported last year and no case of child abuse has been registered this year. Three boys and girls were sexually abused in Swat last year while 17 cases of rape were registered in the first eight months of this year. Three cases were reported in Disrtict Shangla last year and three were registered this year. Not a single case was registered in Buner last year, while 6 cases were reported this year.

In Upper Dir, three cases were registered last year, while this year, six cases were reported so far. Not a single case of child abuse was registered in Chitral last year, while only one case of child abuse was reported during the current year.