An eight-year-old boy Sameer* was sexually assaulted by a police official in Prang, Charsadda district on Friday, according to a case filed by the child’s father.
On Monday, SHO Kiramat Khan confirmed a case had been filed at Prang police station by the victim’s father Imanullah*. The report stated his son Sameer, a student of grade one, was playing outside his house just before Friday prayers when he went missing. Imanullah said Sameer returned home in the evening, his clothes blood-stained and marks of torture on his body.
When asked, the child told his mother and grandmother, Shah Zaman, a police constable on duty at Prang police station and who is also their neighbour, asked Sameer to come with him to play video games on a computer. Sameer agreed and accompanied Zaman to his house, where Zaman allegedly sexually violated and battered the eight-year old. According to Sameer, the constable threatened to kill him if he told anyone about the incident.
The child was first rushed to District Headquarters Hospital, Charsadda, but as his condition deteriorated he was shifted to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar. “Sameer had to be operated on to stop the bleeding,” Imanullah told journalists.
According to a Prang police official familiar with the matter, this was not the first of such incidents in which Constable Shah Zaman had been indicted. The accused had been warned by senior officials multiple times to keep clear of such activities, he said, adding Zaman had a rented house in the same neighbourhood where Sameer was allegedly sexually abused.
Influential residents allegedly supported Zaman and it was with their consent that the constable was involved in several illegal sexual activities, added the Prang police official.
After the incident and registration of the FIR, the accused met with other policemen at Prang police station but, the police official maintained, instead of being apprehended, Zaman was allowed to walk out with the complicity of the officers present.
He told The Express Tribune it was not clear if the Prang police intended to arrest the culprit or leave him be, as there is always the fear of vengeance and vigilante justice in such cases. The official added the police have not taken any action following the registration of the FIR.
(*Names have been changed to protect identities)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2013.
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