Five days after slaughtering a seven-year-old boy, the cleric of a mosque, situated in Joharabad, confessed to his horrific crime.
Saying he was overcome with guilt, Manzoor Sheikh told the police he had brutally murdered his student, grade two student Bilal Mughal, because he had developed some issues with Bilal’s father, Aslam Mughal, who was working as the finance secretary at the same seminary.
Sheikh told authorities he was infuriated with Aslam’s constant interference in the seminary’s affairs, and in a moment of weakness, took it out on his son.
Narrating the account, Sheikh said, Bilal showed up at the mosque with his uncle before Isha prayers on Friday and stayed back after saying his prayers.
Using that opportunity, Sheikh took the boy up to the roof, where construction was underway, and stabbed him with a blunt object.
When the seven-year-old’s parents noticed their child was missing, they set out to search for the boy, and found him critically wounded on the roof of the seminary. Bilal succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital.
Upon receiving complaints from residents, police arrested Sheikh on suspicion. He later confessed to the crime, saying his only motive was to settle a dispute with the boy’s father.
According to Aslam, Bilal would often serve Sheikh his meals thrice a day. “He killed my son! I want the government to publicly announce the death penalty for him!” said the grief-stricken father.
After the tragic admission, Sheikh’s wife termed his act “a heinous crime”, saying there was no way she would ever live with a man like him.
Sheikh was brought before the media on Tuesday outside the District Police Office where he admitted that he had killed the boy to get back at Aslam. During the briefing, Sanghar SSP Abdullah Shaikh told the media that a case would be lodged against the accused in the anti-terrorism court. People gathered at the briefing demanded that people like Sheikh be hanged publicly.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2011.