KARACHI: A day after a minor boy, accused of stealing, was beaten to death by residents in Bahadurabad, the victim’s family staged a protest near Shahra-e-Quaideen Corridor 3, demanding that the perpetrators be tried under the terror law.
The incident occurred on Saturday when according to police, two suspected teenage robbers attempted to enter a bungalow near Kokan Ground in Bahadurabad. A security guard caught 17-year-old Rehan while the other suspected robber managed to escape. What happened next was captured in a video that circulated widely on social media. The video shows a young boy, tied to a metal grill, and being beaten with sticks. The boy keeps pleading the perpetrators not to hit him on the head.
On Sunday, the victim’s family, including women and children blocked the road for traffic and demanded that exemplary punishment be meted out to the perpetrators.
Speaking at the protest site, Rehan’s mother said that her son hadn’t committed any crime and even if he had, he should’ve been handed over to the police or Rangers, instead of being tortured to death. She added that her son had left home with a friend, but never returned. “Those brutes kept torturing my child and made a video of it,” she cried. “Not one person present there showed any mercy to him.” The mother demanded that the perpetrators be treated the same way they had treated her son. “My child kept asking for his parents but those cruel people kept torturing him,” she said.
Rehan’s father told the media that he was the third among six children. He added that Bahadurabad Police frequently used to come and arrest any child from their area and register fake cases against them. The police had once arrested his sons too. The parents demanded that both the accused involved in Rehan’s murder be punished and no leniency should be shown to them.
Sometime later, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Ali Aziz (GG), Ferozeabad DSP Zahoor Gujjar and SHO Aurangzeb Khattak reached the site and tried to negotiate with the protestors and open the road for traffic.
The PTI leader told the media that the way Rehan was killed was unacceptable under any circumstances. “The law should be equal for everyone, be it a rich kid or poor,” he said, adding that the arrested accused will be punished in the strictest way. “How dare the accused make a video of torturing the child and make it viral on social media?” he questioned, adding that the demand for the inclusion of sections of the Anti-Terrorism Act had been accepted.
Meanwhile, DSP Gujjar pledged that the police would make the case so strong that the accused would be punished by the court. SHO Khattak said that the statement of the victim’s father had been recorded for the inclusion of terror charges in the case.
A request will be filed in the court for this on Monday, said SHO Khattak, adding that more accused have been identified during interrogation and the police will arrest them overnight.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2019.