LAHORE: Police on Friday recovered the body of a five-year-old boy from the rooftop of a local mosque and arrested two suspects in connection with the murder. The boy was allegedly molested before being hanged to death at the unfrequented upper floor of the worship place.
M*, who had been missing since Thursday evening, was accompanying some friends on a fund-raising initiative for Eid Miladun Nabi (SAW). According to his friend, Bilal, all the friends were collecting money when M* disappeared during a sudden power outage.
SP Saddar Ijaz Shafi Dogar told The Express Tribune that the parents and neighbours tried in vain to find the child and reported him missing to the police only on Friday morning.
“The police, after registering an FIR under Section 363 (abduction and kidnapping of the penal code), visited the child’s residence when they received information that a body was discovered from the rooftop [of the mosque],” he said.
“The boy was strangulated with a rope,” Dogar said. “After the discovery, the section of the FIR was changed to 302 while we have also detained two suspects for interrogation,” he added.
Another police official said the body was naked and seemed to have been sexually assaulted.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the investigation in charge at the Green Town police station, Akram Bajwa, said someone from the mosque’s administration might be involved in the crime. “Hopefully, we will arrest the culprits within 24 hours as we have made a breakthrough,” he said. However, he refused to reveal the names of the suspects detained for questioning. “I can’t share the names at the moment because investigation is ongoing. But the child was assaulted before being hanged to death,” said DSP Township Atif Hayat.
A doctor at the Jinnah Hospital – where the body was moved for autopsy – said there were some marks of torture and assault on the body. “However, the exact cause of the death will be ascertained after the complete examination and autopsy,” he added.
Separately, the police on Thursday arrested a man for allegedly trying to rape a minor girl. The police said the suspect lured the four-year-old girl from Bengali Colony into a room but the girl’s mother arrived there. “Seeing her mother, the suspect left the girl and fled the scene,” said an official.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2015.