LAHORE: A seven-year-old boy, whose throat was slit after he was sodomised in Shera Kot, died at Children’s Hospital on Sunday.
Reportedly, the victim T* had gone with his siblings to bathe in a nearby tube well. While the children were playing, the accused Azeem lured the young boy to the garden he was hired to look after where he allegedly sodomised him. When the child resisted, Azeem slit his throat and fled.
Alarmed by the screams of the injured child, residents rushed to the area and shifted T* to a nearby hospital. However, he was then shifted to the Children’s Hospital intensive care unit due to his precarious condition where he was under treatment for the past few days.
Residents had also informed police who have registered a case against the accused and have apprehended him. Three days ago, SSP Lahore Investigations Police Owais Malik had said that the accused is also wanted for a separate case where an eight-year-old boy was sexually assaulted and strangled to death in Sherakot in January.
The victim’s body was found in an under construction house. The child was playing in the street with his friends when he went missing. When his family noticed his disappearance, they started to frantically search for the child. They informed police when they were unable to find him. Police registered the incident as a case of kidnapping. However, the next day a passerby spotted the child’s body and informed officials.
Police reached the spot, collected forensic evidence from the crime scene and recorded witness’s statements. Shera Kot investigations police went on a hunt to arrest the culprit but came back empty-handed. The case was then referred to the Anti-Organised Crime Cell (CIA). CIA police rounded up 200 suspects and conducted DNA tests but was also unable to nab the suspect.
A police officer while speaking to The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity said that Azeem was also believed to be involved in five to six other cases of sodomy. Only further investigations will help us ascertain the facts, he added.
Meanwhile, the death of the child sparked protest. Family members, relatives and locals in the area placed the deceased’s body on the road and blocked traffic. This demonstration disrupted the flow of traffic at Babu Sabu, while also causing problems on Band Road, Multan Road and the motorway.
Protesters raised slogans against the death of the child and demanded justice. They also praised the efforts of police who managed to arrest the accused within 24 hours of the incident. Protesters appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to take notice of the incident to ensure justice is served, while the victim’s sister demanded that the accused be hanged immediately for his crimes.
“If the serial killer of Kasur had been dealt with harshly, then this incident would never have occurred,” maintained one of the protesters.
*Name withheld to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2018.