Credit should go where it is due. The maniac suspected to be involved in the rape and murder of three children in Chunian near Kasur has been arrested. The Punjab Chief Minister, Usman Buzdar, confirmed on Oct 1 that the suspect, 27-year-old Sohail Shehzad, was behind all the four cases of sodomy and murder. He had been identified using polygraphic and DNA testing. The incidents occurred last month and the police arrested the maniac by the end of the month. They deserve all praise for their efficiency. The CM said semen on the clothes of one boy and blood on the clothes of another matched with samples of the suspect. These cases had shaken Kasur last month. The incidents once again brought into sharp focus the growing prevalence of child sexual abuse in the country. The suspect is a resident of tehsil Chunian, where the remains of the three minor boys were found on Sept 17. Shehzad is a habitual offender. He was arrested in 2011 for raping a five-year-old boy and served jail time for the offence. Three children, aged between eight and 12 years, had gone missing in June. Another eight-year-old boy disappeared on the night of Sept 16. The remains of the three boys were found on Sept 17. The accused, Shehzad, is being tried by an anti-terrorism court.
In recent years, Kasur has been rocked by incidents of abuse, rape and murder of children. In January 2018, six-year-old Zainab Ansari was found murdered. Her killer and rapist, Imran Ali, was executed in October of the same year. He too was a habitual offender. In 2015, a village in Kasur district had attracted international attention when a child pornography ring was busted.
PM Imran Khan has instructed the authorities to launch a new application, Mera Bacha Alert, to help tackle cases of child abduction. Unfortunately, the Zainab Alert Bill has been lying with a parliamentary committee for long. Predators should be eliminated; our children should be protected.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2019.