The two cannibal brothers whose horrific exploits sent a wave of fear and loathing through the residents of Darya Khan, a town in district Bhakkar, have been re-arrested soon after they were released from jail.
Arif and Farman were first arrested in April 2011 after they were found to have disinterred corpses in the local graveyard for the purpose of eating them.
It was reported that the brothers had dug up and devoured parts from close to 150 bodies before they were finally caught.
Since Pakistan has no specific laws against cannibalism, they were originally arrested under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO)section of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), and were later charged under section 295-A of the PPC. They were sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Rs50,000 each.
After the completion of their sentence, they were released from Mianwali’s district jail and returned to their hometown, to the shock and outrage of residents.
Terrified by the return of the notorious cannibal brothers, the locals held protests blocking the national highway with rickshaws and raising slogans against the district administration and the police.
“I don’t care if they’re handed over to the Taliban in Afghanistan; I just don’t want them here,” said Shahid who was out protesting against this unwanted homecoming.
They demanded that the brothers be kept in prison, and continued their protests for four hours despite the scorching heat. Soon after the release, panicked locals also started visiting the graves of their loved ones to make sure the brothers had not returned to their cannibalistic ways. Sadiq, a resident of the village, told The Express Tribune that he started visiting his parents’ graves every three hours to make sure the graves were undisturbed.
Residents of Darya khan also started restricting their children to their homes, even in daylight hours, and planned to make teams of volunteers who would be deputed in all local graveyards.
Taking note of the situation the DCO Bhakkar, Mumtaz Hussain, ordered the re-arrest of the brothers under the MPO, and SHO Saddar Qasim Nasoka started conducting raids to arrest the brothers. Police arrested Arif on Wednesday and arrested Farman on Thursday, shifting both to an undisclosed location.
Interestingly, the two brothers have spent most of their two year prison term in King Edwards medical college Lahore, where they were being examined by the neurophysiology department. The department is expected to publish its detailed research on this at some point.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2013.