Faisalabad residents have demanded that an alleged serial rapist in police custody be lynched in public. Over the past week, six separate rape and mutilation cases were reported within four police stations precincts. Police officials have suspected a serial rapist to be involved in the cases that include a sexual assault on four minor girls and two women.
Faisalabad Police registered six separate cases and arrested one accused in this regard. Police officials said that they suspected the incidents to be linked and the work of a serial rapist. Station House Officer Saleem Rahat said “there is a clear pattern as all the victims have been mutilated with a knife.” Rahat said that the police had arrested one suspect and were conducting a medical exam of the victims to confirm whether he was guilty. “All the victims bore signs of severe torture and their faces were mutilated. The youngest victim was only three-and-a-half years old,” he said.
According to a police report, the first incident occurred on Monday in Chak 355GB. Labourer Sarfaraz’s five-year-old daughter Neelam went to a nearby shop to buy something. On her way back home a villager reportedly took her to a nearby field and raped her. The child was left in the fields until locals discovered her and took her to the hospital. “Her face was cut up badly with a knife. We suspected a man in our village but the police now tell us that there have been other cases,” Sarfaraz said. The family said that they reported the case to the police immediately.
In a second incident in Chak 61 GB, Muhammad Munawar’s wife was alone at home when two people broke into her house and raped her. The woman said that she was unable to identify the men as they were masked but she suspected Muhammad Amin and Muhammad Ashraf because the men had an old enmity with her husband. Saddar police have registered cases against accused but said that the medical exam of the woman matched other reports. “The woman was brutally assaulted and her face bore scars caused by a knife. This has led us to believe the incident is connected,” said SHO Nadir Ghaffur.
In 467 GB Shireen’s husband was severely injured by three men after he tried to rescue his wife. Shireen was asleep at home when the unknown men broke into her house and raped her. Her husband Qurban said that he was struck on the head with the butt of a gun by a man whose face was covered by a cloth. “I didn’t get a look at his face,” he said.
In Faisalabad’s Chak173-B a seven-year-old girl was raped after she was abducted from outside her school on Wednesday. “My daughter was leaving school and headed back home when she was kidnapped,” said the girl’s father Haider, adding that his neighbour found the girl abandoned behind the school.
“We took her to the hospital and doctors said that she had been raped,” he said.
In Thekri wala police precincts in Chak 66GB Dhandara a five-year-old and three-year-old girl five were raped and mutilated by an unknown man. The children were shifted to a nearby hospital, where doctors confirmed that both girls had been sexually assaulted. Locals heard the children crying and chased after the accused. “We heard their cries and the man was running away when we caught him and police took him into custody,” said neighour Raza.
Police officials said that they received reports of a large crowd beating up a man and took him into custody. “After we found out about the incident we have sent his DNA samples to a lab for testing.
The man has not confessed to the crime and we are not sure if it is the same man involved in the other cases but we are investigating,” said Thekri wala Police Station Superintendent (SP) Moin Shah.
Police have started an investigation against the man captured. “We suspect him to be a serial rapist because most of the rape cases were similar and happened within a short span of each other,” said Shah. “We are conducting a detailed investigation,” he added.
Meanwhile, locals in the district blocked traffic near Airport Chowk and shouted slogans against the police. The people demanded that the accused be handed over to them and be publicly lynched.
*All names of the victims have been changed to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2011.