UCH SHAREEF: An 11-year-old boy was kidnapped, raped and killed by his maternal uncle.
Police officials said that the boy was murdered after his parents paid a ransom to the kidnappers.
Bait Ahmed resident 11-year-old Ahmed disappeared from his home approximately 15 days ago. Ahmed’s family told the police that he was outside the house playing cricket in the grounds near his house.
“When he didn’t come home by night fall we began to get worried. After spending hours searching for him, we called the police,” Ahmed’s father Iqbal said.
Iqbal said that two days after Ahmed disappeared the family received a call from the kidnappers demanding Rs500,000. “They said they would give us two weeks to come up with the money and I had sold off my motorcycle,” Iqbal said, adding that police told them they were also searching for the kidnappers.
Police officials found Ahmed’s mutilated body abandoned near a field on Sunday morning. Bahawalpur District Police Officer (DPO) Babar Bakht said that the family had been coordinating with the police. “We told them to arrange the money and that we were looking for the boy in the meantime but we found his body this morning,” he said. “The body was mutilated and the boy had obviously been tortured,” Bakht said, adding that the body had been sent to the rural health centre for an autopsy.
According to Iqbal, the kidnappers initially demanded Rs500,000 in ransom but when he said he could only arrange Rs300,000 they agreed. “They told me to put the money in a gunny bag and leave it in a sugarcane field near Chandpoor,” Iqbal said, adding that he had left the money on Saturday morning. “We were expecting to hear news of our son being released but the next day the police said they found the body,” he said.
District Superintendent Police (DSP) Chaudhary Muhammad Safdar and his team intercepted two of the kidnappers as they tried to recover the money on Saturday evening. The investigation revealed that the kidnapper was Ahmed’s maternal cousin Ishaq. Following the arrest of two of the kidnappers the Ahmed’s body was recovered by the police the next day.
The dead body of the victim has been shifted to the Uch Sharif Rural Health Centre for a post mortem. Medical Superintendent Dr Ajmal Bhatti said that the victim had been raped and killed nearly thirteen days ago.
“The kidnappers asked for the money after the boy had already been killed. When they came to claim it we caught them,” DSP Safdar said.
Ishaq is in police custody and is being questioned regarding the whereabouts of the remaining kidnappers.
On hearing the news of his son’s death, Ahmed’s father Iqbal suffered a heart attack and has been shifted to the rural health centre for treatment.
Relatives of the victim have been protesting in front of the Uch Sharif Police Station and demanded that the criminal should be publicly hanged or stoned to death. DSP Chaudary Uhaamad Safdar has given instructions to shift the accused to the Saddar Police station and have assured the relatives of the victim that strict action will be taken against the accused. Police officials said that would launch an FIR after receiving details of the post mortem report.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 24th, 2011.