Abused Pakistani boy ‘killed himself after police ignored plea’
A Pakistani teenager believed to have been kidnapped and repeatedly sexually assaulted has committed suicide after police refused to help and even taunted him, the victim’s father said on Saturday.
One police official has now been suspended for “negligence”, police have confirmed.
Muhammad Ikram, 14, who worked at a furniture workshop in the Rahim Yar Khan district of Punjab province, was kidnapped by a gang and raped for two days, his father said.
Ikram was then dumped on a road near his home after his condition worsened but police did not act immediately after he and his father Muhammad Iqbal approached a police post in Khanpur city.
Apparently upset by the attitude of police, on Friday he threw himself into the path of a train and was killed.
Ikram’s relatives, carrying his body, then blocked a local highway in protest. The road was opened only after local legislators and senior police officials assured the family action would be taken against the alleged kidnappers.
“A gang of three men took my son from his furniture workshop to repair a door. But they raped him at their home for two days and then threw him on the road. He committed suicide after policemen refused to register his case and instead abused him,” Iqbal told AFP.
Police said they have suspended one official and arrested a suspect accused of rape following the victim’s suicide.
“The police official did show reluctance to register the FIR (First Information Report) of the case. He has been suspended for this negligence and one accused in the case has also been arrested after formal registration of the complaint,” Tariq Mastoi, district police officer told AFP.
The tragedy comes after Pakistani officials ordered a judicial inquiry last week into a massive child abuse and extortion scandal allegedly involving hundreds of victims amid mounting calls for justice.
Locals claimed at least 280 children were filmed being sexually abused by a gang of 25 men who blackmailed their parents by threatening to leak the videos in the Kasur district of Punjab province.
According to Pakistan’s leading campaign group working against child abuse, Sahil, there were more than 3,500 registered cases last year — representing nearly 10 children a day being abused.
But counsellors say the true figure was far higher.