ISLAMABAD: Police have arrested a teenager who allegedly sexually assaulted a number of young boys in his locality over the past year. The suspect also allegedly assaulted one of the victims inside a mosque in Sector I-9 during Itikaf in Ramazan.
According to an FIR registered at the Industrial Area police station last month, the suspect had been assaulting young boys at gunpoint and also made their footage which he used to blackmail them later on. The suspect, who the police said is 17 years old, was arrested and sent to judicial custody. The police, however, say the complainant could not produce any evidence or witness before the police.
The matter came to surface on September 9 when the suspect allegedly tried to assault a boy who made noise and told the residents who gathered there. A complaint was submitted to Industrial Area police the same day but the police did not take any action, due to lack of witnesses.
Later the parent of a 12-year-old boy approached the police saying his child had been assaulted by the suspect on a number of occasions over the past year. He said the suspect called his son to his home last year where he made him smell something intoxicating and assaulted him. The suspect allegedly told the child that he had links with militants and would blow the victim’s house if he told anybody about the incident. After that incident, the suspect assaulted the child on multiple occasions including once when the child was reportedly observing Itikaf during last Ramazan. The parent said in his written statement to the police that the last time the suspect assaulted his child, was in August this year.
The complainant has named at least three other boys apart from his own child from the locality who became victims of the suspect. He alleged that the suspect often committed the crime at gunpoint and also made footage of the victims to blackmail them into silence.
The local police only registered a case after the complainant approached the police high-ups. The police, however, say the complainant neither produced any evidence to support his claims nor did the police themselves find any such evidence. Sub inspector Zafar Iqbal, who investigated the case, said there was no evidence or any witness to prove the victim’s presence at the suspect’s house in the first place.
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The officer said he also met the management committee of the mosque, where one assault episode allegedly took place, but they also ruled out the incidence. Furthermore, police said a resident who also observed Itikaf at the said mosque when questioned told the officer that he did not notice any such incident. The officer said they had arrested the suspect who also denied the charge and later he was sent to judicial custody.
Dozens of child sexual abuse cases are reported in the capital every year. The Interior Ministry recently presented a report to the senate saying the capital police registered a total of 79 child sexual abuse cases over the past four years. “79 cases of male and female victims who became prey to abuse were registered during January 1, 2014 and June 15, 2018 in the federal capital.
Total 100 suspects were arrested and sent to judicial custody at Central Jail Adyala, Rawalpindi during the said period. Challans against them have been sent to the courts of competent jurisdiction where they are facing trial. Total four persons were sentenced during the said period,” the ministry said in its written reply to questions by Senators.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2018.