FAISALABAD: Another child abuse scandal has been unearthed, this time in Samundri area of Faisalabad district. Three separate cases have been registered against three accused at the police station under Section 377 and 292 of the Pakistan Penal Code.
According to the FIRs registered at Tarkhani police station, a gang of young men in Chak 222 Samundri has been sexually abusing boys. The accused, identified as Mohsin Ali, Ahad Jutt and Abdur Rehman also documented their perverse actions in pictures and on video.
Villagers residing in Chak 222 alleged that more than 30 children have been victims of sexual abuse. Many claimed that they have seen the harrowing photos and videos which have been circulating among citizens. Meanwhile, the family of the accused have locked up their houses and disappeared.
According to the FIR, the sexual assault of minor children has continued for more than a year. The victims were forced into silence as the accused threatened them using photos and videos of the sexual abuse.
The case was brought to the authorities’ attention after a citizen filed a complaint at Tarkhani police station against the accused gang. Sources stated that police officials arrested one of the three accused and started digging deeper.
It was during this investigation that police discovered the illicit videos and photos, sources claimed. Out of the many alleged victims that were sexually assaulted by the accused, so far only three boys have come forward to lodge complaints at the police station.
However, police officials have failed to arrest the main accused in the gang and rumours are circulating that officials are trying to sweep the entire case under the rug.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, villager Abdul Rauf stated that this gang of child molesters was operating for the past several months.
He revealed that the entire matter came to light after the laptop of one of the accused malfunctioned.
“He rushed it to a local shop where the owner discovered the videos and photos,” he added. He maintained that the owner of the shop informed the elders of the village of what he had discovered.
Another villager, Shabbir, stated that all the people living in the village decided to action against the accused. Therefore, three boys from a possible 30 victims registered complaints against the accused.
The uncle of one of the victims said that the government should help the families get justice. “We have faced the situation with a heavy heart. Ensuring justice for the victims and their families is the responsibility of higher authorities,” he said.
Tarkhani police station Station House Officer (SHO) Zafar Shahid said that the head of the gang, Mohsin, is currently out on provisional bail while raids are being conducted to arrest the other accused.
Interestingly, when contacted, the investigation officer for the case, Faiz, answered in a rather sarcastic manner. “The police have failed to provide justice to the people. The entire responsibility of ensuring justice has fallen into the hands of the media,” he said. He refrained from sharing any progress made in the investigation.
Faisalabad SSP Investigation Syed Nadeem Raza maintained that he, along with Tandlianwala SP and the DSP of the area, visited the village and investigated the incident.
Raza stated that five victims have been identified so far. Out of these, three families have taken action by registering complaints at the police station. He maintained that officials were providing psychological counselling to the remaining families so that they are also able to come forward and take action against the accused.
Commenting on the number of sexual assault victims, the SSP said that the exact figure could not be ascertained as yet.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2019.