ISLAMABAD: Police have finally recovered a child victim of ‘torture and abuse’ who had gone missing from a women’s shelter after her ‘parents’ had pardoned her alleged tormentors.
“Tayyaba, 10, and a man and a woman who claim to be her parents are in our custody,” a police officer confirmed to The Express Tribune on Sunday. “We will investigate the case and submit the report in the court.”
The juvenile housemaid was employed by Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan in Islamabad. The judge and his wife, Maheen Zafar, were accused of keeping the girl in wrongful confinement, burning her hand over a missing broom, beating her with a ladle, detaining her in a storeroom, and threatening her with even worse.
Authorities placed the girl into a women’s shelter, but on Tuesday the maid’s ‘father’ told authorities he forgave the judge and his wife and that his daughter’s story was untrue, so no charges were brought forward.
The girl’s parents were then reported to have taken her from the women’s shelter and disappeared with her.
The Supreme Court took suo motu notice of the incident, overruled the ‘pardon’ granted to the judge and his wife, and directed the police to present the girl in the court on Wednesday.
Though the police didn’t specify exactly from where the child and her parents were recovered from, a source said they were taken into custody from the suburbs of the capital.
Police say the parents and two other women claiming to be the maid’s mother will undergo DNA tests to verify their claim. The interior ministry, meanwhile, also confirmed the girl’s recovery.
Following Friday’s orders of the Supreme Court, DIG-Operations Kashif Alam constituted ‘specialised’ teams to recover the child and her parents.
The police said multiple raids had been conducted and several houses searched in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Jaranwala, before the child was found on Sunday evening.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2017.