KARACHI: My child’s hands and feet were broken. We are poor people. We just want justice.
These were the words of the ill-fated mother of a seven-year-old girl R*, who was kidnapped, raped, killed and thrown into a garbage heap in Orangi Town.
The victim, a resident of Baloch Para in Orangi Town, went missing on Sunday, April 15 when she left home to play in the area as per routine. She was then found from the garbage dump in MPR Colony in Manghopir.
Her family had complained to the police about her going missing but they failed to find her alive. They found her decomposed body on a heap of garbage late Monday evening, after which the family approached the police again to register a kidnapping-cum-rape-cum murder case and named three suspects in the FIR.
Upon the family’s complaint, the police raided and arrested two of the three suspects – Rahim and Fazal – named in the FIR, while the remaining suspect, Faqir Muhammad, managed to escape.
Interestingly, those nominated in the FIR are relatives of the victim. “Unfortunately, these people [nominated suspects] are our relatives and they did it in to avenge an old personal enmity,” the victim’s father narrated. “These killers should be hanged publically,” he said.
The victim’s body was moved to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Her initial autopsy report confirmed that the minor was sexually abused before being strangled to death. The victim also bore torture marks on her body. The police have collected samples of the two arrested suspects, which have been sent to the laboratory for DNA testing.
Meanwhile, a search for the third suspect named in the FIR is under way.
“Our initial findings suggested that she was raped but it cannot be confirmed [yet] if an individual was involved or it was a gang rape. However, samples have been taken for a chemical examination report,” said sources in the medico-legal section.
District West SSP Omar Shahid Hamid said that the DNA test reports would confirm the involvement of the suspects and the facts could only be ascertained after the DNA test report. He added that the police will make more arrests if the family expresses doubts about anyone else.
Man dies in protest
A large number of people, including the family and relatives of the victim, held a protest over the incident while they were on their way to the MPR Colony graveyard to bury the minor girl.
The protest also took the life of a father of six children, who was believed to be affiliated with a political party, after the police and protesters clashed with each other. Police took action against the protesters using teargas shells, charging the protesters with batons, aerial firing and allegedly straight firing on the protesters.
“We had no idea that the situation will take an ugly turn and the police will start firing on us,” claimed one of the protesters, Kashif Ali.
The situation took an ugly turn after some unidentified persons started to forcibly close down commercial activities in the area and started pelting stones at passing vehicles. Following the untoward incident, an extra contingent of law enforcers reached the site and tried to disperse the protesters which led to the clash between the law enforcers and the protesters, turning the area into a battleground for at least two hours.
“Everything was going peacefully as two of the three nominated suspects were already arrested by the police and there was no reason to hold a protest,” claimed SSP Hamid. “But some miscreants belonging to a political party took advantage of the situation for political point scoring.”
The deceased was identified as 43-year-old Ilyas, son of Haider Ali, while another Adnan, 28, was also wounded allegedly by police firing.
Over a dozen other protesters were wounded during the baton charge by the police, while Orangi Town SHO Sabir Khattak was among at least a dozen injured policemen. The police detained about two dozen suspects for taking the law into their hands.
SSP Hamid claimed that even the family and relatives of the victim themselves wanted to bury their loved one as her body was already decomposed, but the political party workers intercepted them while they were on their way to the graveyard.
“There was no reason to hold a protest as the culprits were already arrested but the situation went haywire when the protesters started throwing stones at the police,” SSP Hamid claimed.
“The police retaliated and used force to disperse them,” SSP Hamid said, claiming that it was also being investigated if some miscreants resorted to fire during the clash but nothing could be said until the investigation was complete.
Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal ordered the additional inspector-general of police to conduct an investigation. Karachi additional IG appointed Administration DIG Asim Khan as an inquiry officer over the alleged use of police force during the protest which took the life of a man.
IG Allah Dino Khowaja also took notice of the incident and directed District West police to present a report.
PTI leadership, including Dr Arif Alvi and Imran Ismail condemned the use of police force during the protest claiming that the police opened fire on innocent protesters who were just protesting with a demand to arrest the culprits.