GUJRAT: A landlord allegedly beat up a 10-year-old boy, burnt him with scalding hot water and chopped off his arms, following a dispute between the victim’s father over electricity theft in Gujrat.
Officials said 30-year-old Ghulam Mustafa had an argument with his neighbour Nasir Iqbal in Chak Bhawala on July 15. Mustafa demanded Rs5,000 from Iqbal for an electricity wire that was connected to the latter’s electricity meter and passed through the former’s property.
However, Iqbal, refused and the two men argued over the issue.
Later, when Iqbal’s 10-year-old son Tabassum went to bathe at a tube well on Mustafa’s property, he was reportedly beaten by the landlord, who also poured hot water on him. Tabassum reportedly tried to hide in the nearby fields before Mustafa found him and tied him with rope. Mustafa then used a threshing machine to sever the boy’s arms.
Mustafa then took the boy to a private hospital on Bhambar Road, where he tried to hush up the crime. He also donated blood for the boy.
However, as Iqbal found out about his son’s condition, he tried to file an FIR against Mustafa in the Cantt Gujrat police station. Iqbal told The Express Tribune that SHO Shaukat Taupa said he could not file a case without a medical report. No action was taken against Mustafa until Iqbal contacted the media.
As the news spread, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident and ordered a report from top police officials.
Iqbal said the police then filed a case against Mustafa on the charge of attempted murder; they did not request a medical certificate in this case.
Police raided Mustafa’s residence and arrested him. The landlord reportedly told police officials that Mustafa is his nephew and he accidently ‘hit’ him. Iqbal, however, denies these claims.
District Police Officer Rai Ijaz said a five-member board of doctors has been put together to oversee the boy’s treatment.
No official from the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau has taken notice of the incident yet.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2014.