KARACHI: Considering that violence is most volatile in Karachi and law and order is just another word, it may not seem unusual that a five-year-old Rumaisa disappeared Sunday morning from a low-income locality called Gabol Goth in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
Rumaisa’s disappearance drove dozens of policemen and her neighbours into a frenzy to look for her. She was found after two hours since her family reported her missing. The people of the area began calling each other and sending SMSes to the police with her description.
Fortunately Rumaisa was found two hours after her parents reported her missing, crying, but otherwise unharmed, the police said.
“We can’t say for sure if someone lured her away from the house,” said Mobina Town SHO Saleemullah Qureshi. “But she is not hurt and is too young and too scared to share any details.” In the last couple of weeks, at least three children have been kidnapped, raped and murdered. Understandably the people of the area were scared. However, a positive outcome which emerged from Rumaisa’s temporary disappearance was that a surveillance network, involving the police and community, was established in the area. Shopkeepers, medical-store attendants and others have become part of the 60-men team. They are the first ones to get to know with the police when a child goes missing in the area.
“Even though we have been able to arrest the culprits in a few cases but we had to come up with a mechanism to increase vigilance,” said SHO Qureshi.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2012.