Police culture: Child arrested for sexual assault dies in custody

SHO says the investigation officer has been arrested, charged with neglect.


Shamsul Islam August 05, 2012

FAISALABAD:


A juvenile arrested by Jhang Bazaar police in a sexual assault case on Wednesday died on Saturday.


Doctors who treated Muhammad Zubair, 14, at Allied Hospital said he was unconscious when the police brought him to the hospital some minutes before iftar. Dr Ali Naqi said a post-mortem examination would be carried out on Sunday (today) to determine the cause of death.

SHO Farrukh Waheed said the assistant sub inspector who was in charge of the investigations had been arrested and a case registered against him under Section 155-C of the Police Order (neglect). He said murder charge would be added to the FIR against ASI Muhammad Ali if it was confirmed in the autopsy. “We are interrogating him (the ASI) about the matter,” he said.

He said they had delayed the child’s production before a court on his father’s request who said he was negotiating a settlement with the complainants.

Muhammad Rafiq, father of the deceased, however, rejected that he had made such a request. Instead, he said, the police had approached him and said that they would mediate a settlement between him and the complainants.

He said no inquiry carried out by the Jhang Bazaar police would be credible. “They have killed my son. How can I trust them with holding an impartial inquiry?” he asked.

He said he had himself taken his son to the police station on August 1 thinking that he would be release after questioning. But, he said, the police refused to let him see his son until Saturday evening when he was called to the hospital.

He demanded that a senior officer be assigned to probe the matter.

Besides, Zubair, 14, three others mentioned in the FIR were arrested on July 22 and sent on a judicial remand on July 24. The FIR, registered on July 21, accused the four children of sexually assaulting a boy who lived in the same neighbourhood. The FIR is registered under Section 377 (unnatural offence) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2012.

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