103 minor boys, girls sexually abused in Rawalpindi in three years

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RAWALPINDI: As many as 103 minor children including 27 girls were sexually abused within the jurisdiction of 30 police stations of district Rawalpindi during the last three years.

A 10-year-old child kidnapped from Sadar Wah police jurisdiction was killed after having been raped.  As per record, 101 children who were sexually assaulted were either freed by rapists or they succeeded in escaping on their own.

A report for the period January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2017, sent to Punjab government pointed out that not even a single accused could be awarded life imprisonment, or sentenced to death, whereas only 2 out of 140 wanted accused were awarded punishment for a number of years in jail.

According to details, 48 accused were acquitted after the witnesses deviated from their statements, 53 were granted bail due to poor police investigation and police connivance and eight accused have not been arrested by police so far. Moreover, nine cases are still under investigation and challans of 91 cases of kidnapping and rape have been sent to courts.

The actual ratio of the rape case of minor children is far higher than the reported cases as most of the people don’t approach police due to the police attitude, judicial system and social pressures.

According to NGO Sahil, these figures were underreported as the 2,616 children were subjected to sexual assaults in Punjab including Rawalpindi and 167 children were raped in Islamabad during last year.

Among those who were found involved in the offence of rape, 1,943 were acquaintances, 829 strangers, 72 relatives, 55 teachers, 54 neighbours, maulvis, policemen and other persons. Police refused to register 323 cases while 165 cases could not reach police.

No information was provided in 709 cases.

4,139 children were raped during 2016, 1,764 were raped during the six months period from January 1 to June 30, 2017. Among the victims, 697 were girls and 1,067 were boys. 12 boys and girls were raped and murdered in district Kasur during 2017.

When contacted, Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmad Abbasi dispelled the impression of police interference in minor children’s rape cases saying that when a case is registered and the accused is issued a challan, then there can be no interference from the police. “It is our endeavour that such cases are assigned t an expert police officer for investigation so that the accused cannot escape,” he added.

He also said that the requisite results are not received through DNA or chemical examiner report.

About delay in DNA or PFSA reports, he said that duty of the police is to send samples and give reminders if the reports are delayed.  Punjab forensic laboratory remains under pressure from the reports which are received from across the country.

About non-recovery of the child who was kidnapped from the area of Wah police station on February 28, Abbasi said that no such incident was in his knowledge wherein the kidnapped child had not been recovered.