Political, social activists threaten GB-wide protest if main culprits not arrested
AN: Massive protest was held at Ishkoman in the western Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan on Saturday against the failure of police and security agencies in arresting the main culprits involved in the brutal murder of a teenage boy after sexual assault.
Hundreds of people blocked the main road at Chatorkhand for hours chanting slogans against the failure of the police and security agencies in arresting the main culprits who have reportedly fled to the Kohistan District.
Political and social activists addressed the protesters and made scathing criticism on GB’s chief minister, his cabinet members, the district administration and the security apparatus for not arresting the real culprits after a lapse of over two weeks of the gruesome incident.
The speakers including Nawaz Khan Naji, the lone nationalist member of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly from the district and others warned police and the security agencies to bring the culprits nominated by the victim’s father to justice and do justice to the aggrieved family.
They described the incident as an act of terrorism and questioned the capabilities and seriousness of the police which are quick enough to arrest political activists but are unable to arrest the criminals and terrorists.
The speakers also held some officials responsible for the rising crimes in the district who have been holding key positions for a long period. They also accused the officials of backing the criminals.
They said that the state institutions have failed to arrest the main suspects who have fled from the area.
The protesters said that if the main culprits were not arrested, they will widen their protest to the district headquarter Gahkuch, Gilgit, and Islamabad against the injustice.
Police obtain remand of suspects
The victim’s father in his complaint filed with the Immit police station has nominated Farooq and Abdul Manan from Tashnalut village as the main suspects who are still at large.
He is apprehensive of the fairness of investigation as the culprits and their families may influence the investigation process.
Deedar Hussain, a 14 years old student of the seventh class of a local school had been abducted by a gang of eight and strangled after rape. The culprits dumped the victim’s body on the banks of Qurumbar River which was recovered from the river bed on February 6.
According to the preliminary police report, the boy had been molested before being killed.
The incident sparked massive protests and outrage across Gilgit-Baltistan and GB Diaspora in Pakistani cities on social media demanding ‘exemplary punishment’ for the culprits.
Following which the Immit police registered a case on the complaint of the victim’s father and arrested six of the eight suspects identified as Aziz, Mohammad Umer, Noor Azam, Gohar Aman, Sher Islam, and Abdul Latif.
The suspects belonged to Khelochay and Gujjar tribes, who are settled in the area after migrating from Kohistan district of KP. During the investigations, they confessed to their involvement in the crime.
A JIT has also been constituted in investigating the case.
The Cruel numbers
According to a report, 2,322 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in Pakistan between January and June 2018 compared to 1,764 incidents recorded the same period in 2017, indicating a 32pc increase in the crime. According to Sahil, a non-government organisation working for child rights, more than 12 children were abused every day. In its annual report ‘Cruel Numbers 2017’ Sahil noted that 3,445 children were sexually abused in 2017. Among them 2,077 were girls and 1,368 were boys.
The social malaise
The menace of child sexual abuse incidents is on the rise in Gilgit-Baltistan which according to Aziz Ali Dad, a social thinker and writer is pervasive in its society and become a part of a subculture of Gilgit-Baltistan’s society.
“Since the society is under the influence of false consciousness and values, its members are in denial mode that such evil exists within. The crime is occurring even in the remotest parts of rural areas in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The malaise of child sexual abuse is deeply rooted in the culture of Gilgit-Baltistan. If we delve deep into the cultural practices, deconstruct the language and dig deep into the archaeology of cultural mindset, we find a pattern of behaviour among a certain section of males who are engaged in paedophilia, molestation, and sodomy.
“To save children from predatory culture, it is imperative to get rid of prevailing mindset of society that harbours bad faith, dual morality, fallacies and libidinal urges within,” he says.
According to Aziz “we can create a healthy society for our future generation. Otherwise, the cesspool of society will keep producing predators who continue to devour innocent children for their carnal desires in the garb of puritan culture.”
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