LAHORE: Another incident regarding the sexual assault of a minor boy was reported in the provincial capital on Thursday. The case was reported in Liaqatabad.
The victim was identified as 10-year-old A* who was working at a tailor shop in the neighbourhood. His father said his own legs had been fractured in an accident and, therefore, his son was working to provide for the family.
On the day of the incident, the man mentoring A* at the tailor shop asked him to fetch water from a cooler at a nearby mosque. This is when 20-year-old Shahzaib, another employee, followed the child and cornered him at the mosque.
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The accused sexually assaulted the victim and threatened to kill him with a gun if he told anyone about the incident. However, this was not the end of the victim’s ordeal.
After wrapping up work for the night, the accused took the child to Model Town Graveyard on the pretext of dropping him home. There, he sexually assaulted the child once again.
It was only when the child came home that he told his father about what had happened and the victim’s father reported it to the police.
Police arrested the suspect after conducting a raid at his house after midnight. An FIR has been registered against the accused. Officials also conducted a medical examination of the victim and added that they are investigating the matter further.
So far this year
During the first seven months of 2019, 126 cases of sexual abuse involving minors were reported in the provincial capital. At least two children were killed after being raped. According to statistics obtained by The Express Tribune, 129 suspects were formally charged in the total number of cases reported while 127 accused have been arrested.
Around 87 cases out of those lodged have completed investigations while 22 are still under investigation. Two cases could not be traced.
Cases involving the rape and subsequent murder of a minor took place in Shahdbagh and Sabzazar. Police managed to arrest the culprit in Shadbagh. However, the culprit in the Sabzazar case climbed an electricity pole while being chased by officials and fell to his death.
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In comparison, 142 cases involving the sexual assault of a minor were reported in the provincial capital during the same period in 2018. In these cases, one child was killed after being raped and culprits were charged in 119 cases. One accused is still on the run.
According to SSP Investigation Zeeshan Asghar, the number of rape cases in Lahore has decreased as compared to the previous year. He maintained that investigation police manage to trace majority of the culprits.
“Police as well as parents and neighbours need to keep an eye out on such criminals. In most cases, the perpetrator is a close relative or a neighbour of the victim,” he explained.
*Name withheld to protect identity
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2019.