Children in chains – 14 Jun 2022

IT is deeply unfortunate that the state continues to not just ignore but further jeopardise the future of its youth, and by extension its own, through its persistent apathy towards children. Its inaction is particularly to be condemned in the matter of children employed in hazardous occupations including those made to serve as bonded labour. According to a survey conducted by the Hari Welfare Association, out of the 1.7m people engaged in bonded labour in Sindh, nearly 700,000 are children, mostly in the farm sector. The figure may appear shocking and, indeed, it would be considered so by any civilised nation. As per some estimates, Pakistan has the third-highest number of bonded labourers globally after Mauritania and Haiti. However, in the context of child labour in the country, perhaps this reprehensible fact is not very surprising.

Bonded labour is a deep-rooted practice in feudalism, and one that the state does not care to counter. In fact, child labour is deeply entrenched in practically all occupations. Often it is invisible for instance, around 12m children work as domestic labour across the country, be it in the house of a government official, a businessman or a salaried person. Many have been maltreated by their employers, sometimes to the point of death, but unless civil society raises its voice, the cases usually go unreported.

The sight of children working on the streets, in restaurants and in auto repair shops, in the fisheries, etc, is more evident, especially in cities like Karachi. This is so despite the fact that there are laws to curb this despicable practice. As poverty in the country grows, it is likely that more families will send their children to work instead of schoolwhere their numbers are already abysmal.

Unfortunately, Pakistan`s children have never been on the priority list of governments; there may be laws and constitutional pledges regarding their welfare, but it is unlikely that the authorities will ever see children as the future of the country.

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Journalist`s `disappearance` near home sparks concern, condemnation – 14 Jun 2022

KARACHI: Nafees Naeem, an assignment editor at Aaj News channel, went missing from near his home in Nazimabad on Monday afternoon and is believed to have been abducted by unknown persons traveling in a Vigo, according to police, the TV channel`s administration and media organisations.

West-Zone DIG Nasir Aftab told Dawn that as per the family`s statement, Nafees Naeemhad left his home in Nazimabad on Monday afternoon to purchase groceries when unknown persons took him away.

The senior officer said when they received information about the incident, police immediately contacted the family and theNazimabad SHO also visited the family home.

Police have also obtained CCTV footage from the spot and the DIG said video footage showed men in plainclothes traveling in a 4×4 Vigo apparently took away the media worker. Mr Aftab said he had personally spoken to the journalist`s wife who informed him that her husband had left home at around 3.50pm to purchase chicken from a nearby poultry shop before he was taken away.

The DIG said police have asked the family to lodge an FIR.

The officer said the journalist was not detained by the police, adding that no police station in West Zone was holding Mr Naeem.

Meanwhile, the Aaj News administration said in a state-ment that their assignment editor, Nafees Naeem, was taken away by plainclothes men outside his home in Nazimabad. The channel administration claimed that Mr Naeem was tal(en away in a police mobile whose whereabouts were unknown.

`Nafees Naeem has been associated with the channel for the last 10 years,` added the statement.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has also taken notice of the journalist`s disappearance. A statement issued on Monday night said the minister had spoken to Sindh Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon and directed him to ensure Mr Naeem`s swift recovery. He also assured the provincial police chief of complete cooperation from the federal authorities in this regard.The Aaj News administration in the statement condemned the `abduction` of their employee.

`Suppose, if Nafees Naeem had committed any illegal action, legal procedure should be adopted,` it said.

`No institution can be given right to take away any citizen without any charge, FIR or complaint,` said the Aaj administration. Such action by any institution was a matter of shame for the government, it added.

The Aaj administration urged Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah to take notice of the incident and ensure immediate recovery of Nafees Naeem.

Widespread condemnation In separate statements, the Pakistan Federal Union ofJournalists (PFUJ), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) and Karachi Press Club condemned the `kidnapping`ofthejournalist.

PFUJ president Shahzada Zulngar and secretary general Nasir Zaidi, while condemning the incident, demanded Mr Naeem`s immediate release and arrest of the culprits involved in his disappearance.

The PFUJ leadership urged the Sindh government and police to take urgent measures for the safe release of Mr Naeem and make all-out efforts for the safety and security of journalists and media workers, otherwise protest will be launched againstsuchdisappearances.

`Despite the regime change in Islamabad, adverse action against journalists continues,said KUJ president Shahid Iqbal and secretary Fahim Siddiqi.

The KUJ gave a 24-hour ultimatum to the Sindh government to recover the journalist, otherwise they would initiate protest.

It urged Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to take notice of theincident and gethimreleased immediately.

Moreover, in a statement the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors also condemned the journalist`s disappearance.

Demanding Mr Naeem`s immediate recovery, the organisation said that the repeated kidnappings, killings, enforced disappearances and harassment of journalists in Pakistan were a matter of concern and shame.

Kalbe Ali in Islamabad also contributed to this report.

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Hindu girl recovered from Bahawalpur – 14 Jun 2022

GUJAR KHAN: A Hindu girl kidnapped from Singhoi area in the limits of Chotala police station of district Jhelum was recovered after a week from Bahawalpur area on Monday and the suspect was also arrested.

According to the FIR registered on June 7 on the complaint of the victim`s mother, the girl and her family had temporarily shifted to Singhoi area of Jhelum from Badin area of Sindh to work at the farmhouse of a local landlord, Raja Zafar.

She said on June 6, she and her daughters were returning from hillside after doing work and stopped at a place to drink water and use washroom.

When her daughter, went to use washroom where the suspect was present who started beating her and took her away in his car.

The suspect abducted her daughter with the intention of rape on the directions of the landlord, Raja Zafar, alleged the mother in the FIR.

When Dawn contacted spokesperson of district Jhelum police, SI Ahsen Butt, he said the victim has been brought back to Jhelum by the police team from Bahawalpur while raids are also being carried out to arrest Raja Zafar.

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IO told to file forensic report of train gang rape video – 14 Jun 2022

KARACHI: A judicial magistrate on Monday sent five employees of a privately managed train to prison for their alleged involvement in a case pertaining to the gang rape of a woman in moving train.

The court also directed the investigating officer of the case to submit the forensic analysis report of footage of gang rape made by the suspects.

The Railway police booked five employees train manager and four ticket checkers of the Bahauddin Zakaria Express for allegedly sexually assaulting a 25-year-old victim on May 27.

On Monday, the IO, Inspector Habibullah Khattak, produced all the held suspects before Judicial Magistrate (South) Shahnawaz upon expiry of their physical remand in police custody.

The magistrate inquired from the IO about the progress in the investigation.

He informed the court that during interrogation the suspects disclosed to have not only raped the victim on turns but also filmed the immoral incident in a bid to blackmail her.

He said the cell phones of the suspects had already been recovered to retrieve the alleged footage.

However, he requested for time to send the purported footage to the laboratory for its forensic analysis to determine its authenticity and submit a report.

He also requested the magistrate to grant an extension in the physical remand of the suspects.

Declining the request, the magistrate remanded them in judicial custody and directed the IO to produce them on the next date.

In the meanwhile, the magistrate also told the IO to submit a report of the forensic analysis of the purported mobile phone video on the next date.

On the last hearing, the victim had identified two of the five detained staffers of the train as the accused who had allegedly subjected her to a sexual assault and also facilitated their accomplices in this act.

According to the FIR, the woman was travelling in an economy class berth when the ticket-checker offered her a seat in the air-conditioned compartment of the train. Shortly af terwards, he took her to the other compartment where the train staffers took turns to sexually assault the woman and threatened her with dire consequences when she tried to escape.

A case was registered under Secdons 377 (punishment for rape) and 34 (common intent) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the PR City Police Station on the complaint of the victim.

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Boy kidnapped by aunt for ransom recovered – 14 Jun 2022

TOBA TEK SINGH: Razabad police (Faisalabad) on Monday recovered a child two-and-a-half hours after his kidnapping.

Police said Muhammad Talha (12) was lured by her aunt (his mother`s sister) Shabana Bibi and her husband Muhammad Arshad when he came out of his school and took him away to their house in Diglaspura locality.

They telephoned Talha`s mother and demanded Rs3.5 million ransom, threatening that if not paid the boy will be killed. Police traced the location of the caller and recovered Talha.

Police have registered a case and arrested the couple.

BURNS: Two minor children suf fered burns when boiling milk fell on them on Monday at Faisalabad`s Fareedi Chowk area on Millat Road.

Adnan said his daughter Meerab Fatima (5) and son Ali Akbar (1) were playing near the oven. When they touched the milk pan, it fell on them as a result they suffered burns and were admitted to Allied hospital.

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Married woman gang-raped during house robbery – 14 Jun 2022

MUZAFFARGARH: Three robbers gang-raped the wife of a labourer during a robbery at a fish farm at Mauza Tabi Bhattian on Sunday night.

The victim`s husband told the media that he was an employee at the fish f arm of a local landlord and lived there along with his wife and children.

He said that on Sunday night three robbers entered the farm by scaling its boundary wall and tried to steal a transformer installed there.

However, he said the robbers could not dismount the transformer from the pole and barged into his house, where they took him hostage at gunpoint and gang-raped his wife in front of the chil-dren. He said after raping his wife, the robbers snatched her earrings, collected some household items and fled away. He said that immediately after the incident he informed the police about it.

He regretted that the police arrived five hours after he reported the incident to them.

The police officials arriving at the farm collected forensic evidence and sent the rape survivor to hospital for her medical examination.

The police said that case would be registered af ter the report of medical examiner.

Later, taking notice of the incident, the south Punjab additional IG ordered District Police Of ficer Tariq Willayat to register a case, arrest the robbers and submit a report.

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Man kills brother, sister-in-law over property – 14 Jun 2022

LAHORE:A man killed his brother and his wife over property dispute in the Shahdara police limits on Monday.

The victims were identified as Fazal Elahi and his wife Fauzia. The accused person has been identified as Tanveer, a resident of Aziz Park, Saggian. He fled the scene after killing the victims. Police reached the scene, removed the bodies to morgue and said the family had a property dispute for the last many years.

CCPO took notice of the incident and ordered immediate arrest of accused person.

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Teenage girl allegedly raped – 14 Jun 2022

A case has been registered against a man at the Dhamial police station for allegedly raping a 14-year-old girl. Police said that the case was registered on the complaint of the victim’s mother who accused a man named Ammad Bhatti and his accomplices of committing the alleged crime. “My daughter had gone out to buy groceries when accused Bhatti, along with his friends, arrived in a car and abducted her. The suspects took my daughter to an under-construction building in Dhoke Bhattian, where she was sexually assaulted. Police have registered a case and an investigation is under way. OUR CORRESPONDENT

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