The police have arrested a 22-year-old man on charges of raping and murdering a four-year old girl in Gizri on Saturday.
The Clifton police said that Nadia knew Sher Khan and she called him “chachu” or uncle. Khan lives in the same street as Nadia’s family, is the lone breadearner for his family. His father is dead and his mother is physically challenged. He has three younger siblings and they hail from Loralai.
Nadia’s body was found dumped in a ground near her home on Sunday morning. A medico-legal officer confirmed after the autopsy that she was raped.
The police’s sniffer dogs were unable to help the police on Sunday evening. At least three dogs were used but all they did was run between Nadia’s home and the place where her body was found.
A formal investigation started by Sunday night. “We first questioned the parents of the girl and requested them to gather the people who were part of the search team that found Nadia,” said investigation officer Mehboob Illahi. Everyone turned up, except for Sher Khan who had found her body. Sher Khan was not in the area but was questioned by the police in the second round of investigations the same night.
“The first question that came to our minds was how did he find the body in the corner of the ground in the garbage?” said Illahi. When he posed the question to Sher Khan, his face changed.
While other relatives were searching for Nadia in the bushes and other places, Khan had gone directly to the garbage dump in the morning and had come to inform the family.
The investigation team asked family members and Sher Khan to visit the police station. “At the police station we targeted him and applied different psychological techniques,” the IO said. Everyone was sitting at the police station. The police started blaming Sher Khan. “Suddenly he started wailing, saying that he had committed a crime and lamented it,” said the IO. Sher Khan went down on his knees to ask for forgiveness from Nadia’s father.
According to Sher Khan, Nadia used to come to his house, referred to him affectionately as her uncle and sat in his lap.
On the day of the incident, she asked him for some money to buy sweets. “I was distracted by the devil at that time,” Sher Khan said, according to the police. “I was not thinking of the consequences.”
According to the police, Sher Khan kept her in the room for some time and then took her to the rooftop.
He said she called out for her parents and was crying. He tied her down with a rope and told the police that he was not planning to kill her. However, when she said: “I will tell Baba everything” he panicked and strangled her. He then waited for the search to end and dumped the body in the ground.
Sher Khan even took part in the protest by the neighbourhood on Zamzama Boulevard in which they burnt tires. But he left the area when the sniffer dogs appeared.
“I went to a mosque in the nearby PND Colony to confess and ask for Allah’s pardon,” investigators quoted Sher Khan as saying.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2010.