Children`s torture case: probe reveals a sordid tale of faith exploitation – 16 Jul 2022

LAHORE: The police investigations into the torture case of two children working as domestic help in the Defene Housing Authority (DHA) here revealed that their employer wanted to marry their seven-year-old sister, who has been recovered by police from the prime suspect (the employer).

One of the children, 10-year-old Kamran, had succumbed to the injuries inflicted by the employers, while his younger sibling, Rizwan (6), was injured by them.

On Friday, the police arrested the prime suspect, Abul Hassan, in a raid carried out in Bahawalpurdistrict, also recovering a 7-yearold girl `A`, who turned out to be sister of the two children.

The investigations also revealed that Abul Hassan claimed to be a Pir (spiritual healer), and the children`s father Irfan, a resident of Haidarabad, Sindh, used to visit him.

Lahore Investigation DIG Kamran Adil told Dawn the prime suspect Abul Hassan was himself a follower of a so-called spiritual healer living in Dera Ghazi Khan.

He said Hassan had told Irfan that his Pir (in DG Khan) wanted him to marry an underage girl.

At this, Irfan showed his willingness to `sacrifice` his minor daughter and handed `A` over toHassan in a `spiritual ceremony` organised at the house of the prime suspect, the DIG said.

He said these details got revealed when the police managed to get recording of mobile phone conversations between Hassan and the man (Pir)living in DGKhan.

The DIG said the police actually came to know about the sister of the two boys through these phone call recordings.

He said following the information, he formed a police team to recover the girl, while making the telephonic evidence a part of the investigation.

He said the team traced the location of Hassan in Bahawalpur,where he was hiding to avoid arrest.

In the entire episode, the DIG said, the role of the children`s father was shocking as he neither contacted police to lodge a case against their employers, nor pursued investigation process.

He said the police, on their own, moved the local magistrate, seeking orders for the postmortem examination of the deceased boy and permission for his burial.`We have traced the location of children`s father who was staying somewhere in Hayderabad`, the police officer said.

He said a human trafficking case would also be lodged against the father for selling his minordaughter to Hassan.

To a question, the DIG said, the prime suspect had claimed that `A` was 13 years old, but the documentary evidences, including National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) record, showed she was not more than seven.

He said police were also trying to confirm Hassan`s marital status.

To another question, he said, the prime suspect was addicted to ice drug and seemed to be a psychopath.

`We have also requested the University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore to engage a team of senior psychologists for the case, the DIG said.

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