- Title: Pakistani town grapples with grim history of child abuse abduction
- Date: 24th September 2019
- Summary: CHUNIAN, KASUR, PAKISTAN (RECENT) (REUTERS) DONKEY CART PASSING THROUGH LANE IN LOCALITY WHERE BOYS ALLEGEDLY WENT MISSING MOURNERS WALKING TOWARDS HOUSE OF 8-YEAR-OLD MUHAMMAD FAIZAN, WHO WAS ALLEGEDLY RAPED AND STRANGULATED MOURNERS SEATED IN FAIZAN'S HOUSE VARIOUS OF MOURNERS PRAYING PEOPLE WALKING IN LANEWAY FAIZAN'S PARENTS AND BROTHER LOOKING AT HIS SCHOOL BOOKS FAIZAN'S NOTEBOOK WITH HIS NAME WRITTEN IN IT IN URDU FAIZAN'S YOUNGER BROTHER READING OUT AN ESSAY WRITTEN BY FAIZAN (SOUNDBITE) (Punjabi) MOTHER OF 8-YEAR-OLD MUHAMMAD FAIZAN, AMTAL SALAM, SAYING: "I got my child from Allah after years of prayers and supplications. And this brute did not allow me to see the happiness of my child. Oh cruel creature. Allah had given me a child after eight years - I was given the blessing of having a son after eight years. I nurtured my child for eight years. Now was the time to enjoy my child. The monster! The infidel. The animal brutalized my child. I cannot bear this. I want justice." FAIZAN'S FAMILY MEMBERS LOOKING AT HIS BOOKS FAIZAN'S ELDER SISTER (SOUNDBITE) (Punjabi) MOTHER OF 8-YEAR-OLD MUHAMMAD FAIZAN, AMTAL SALAM, SAYING: "A pole should be erected in the market square here and he should be hanged from it. I should have a hatchet in my hands, with which I can cut him into small pieces. Then I will throw acid on him. Then I will seal the pieces in a box until they are infested by worms and scorpions and snakes. Then I will burn up the pieces and throw it to the wind. Even then I will not be satisfied or pacified." PEOPLE GATHERED AROUND GAS STATION THAT WAS ALLEGEDLY DAMAGED BY PROTESTERS FOLLOWING RECOVERY OF DEAD CHILD VARIOUS OF ALLEGED DAMAGE DONE TO GAS STATION BY PROTESTERS WHO RALLIED AGAINST THE CHILD ABUSE (SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) LOCAL COLLEGE STUDENT, MUHAMMAD WASEEM, SAYING: "If the police had started searching for the child when the report of that he was missing was brought to the police station - if what the police are doing today, had they done it before - these three children would not have been killed. This child of the cleric would have not died. When we take our issues to the police station, they tell us there must have been a reason for it. The child must have fought with someone that is why he ran away from home." VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PRAYING AT GRAVE OF MUHAMMAD FAIZAN GRAVE OF MUHAMMAD FAIZAN (SOUNDBITE) (Punjabi) HOUSEWIFE FROM A NEIGHBOURING VILLAGE, SHEHNAZ BIBI, SAYING: "Now the children are afraid to go to the mosques, they are afraid to go to school. Announcements have been made that parents should escort their children to school. Fathers, who must work to earn their living now have to drop work in order to pick up their children from school. How long are mothers going to be responsible for the security of children? How long are fathers going to have to leave work to pick up their children?"
- Embargoed: 8th October 2019 03:30
- Keywords: child abuse abduction bodies sexual assault murder boys
- Location: CHUNIAN, KASUR, LAHORE, PAKISTAN
- City: CHUNIAN, KASUR, LAHORE, PAKISTAN
- Country: Pakistan
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA002AY0LYYV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS NOTE: QUALITY AS INCOMING
Grief, fear and anger have enveloped the town of Chunian in Pakistan's eastern, Punjab province after the bodies of three missing children were found in a district which has seen numerous cases of child abuse and abductions in recent years.
Police said on Monday (September 23) they had made twenty arrests as they investigated the suspected murders and sexual assault of the boys. The body of Muhammad Faizan had been found the previous week, a day after he went missing.
Faizan, 8, had failed to return home with his brother when the two went to nearby shops to buy snacks. His body and the remains of two more boys were later found on a deserted section of an industrial estate.
"The animal brutalized my child. I cannot bear this. I want justice," Faizan's mother, Amtal Salam. The family home overlooks the grave of her young son.
Local media reported three other children from the area have been missing since the middle of the year and another child had disappeared late last week after the bodies were found.
Videos of hundreds of local children being sexually assaulted were caught circulating in 2015, which a senior child protection official at the time called the largest child abuse scandal in Pakistan's history.
Last year, the body of a 7-year-old girl was found in a garbage dumptster, which police said was the twelfth incident of a girl being abducted, raped and killed in the district in a year, and sparked violent protests. A man was convicted of the murder and executed.
Hundreds more protested last week, blocking off streets and damaging shops.
Families in the area are fearful of the welfare and safety of their children.
"Now the children are afraid to go to the mosques, they are afraid to go to school. Announcements have been made that parents should escort their children to school," said Shehnaz Bibi, a housewife from a neighbouring village.
Police are continuing to investigate the suspected murders and disappearances and are also looking into the possibility of a serial killer.
(Production: Naeem Abbas, Salahuddin, Sheree Sardar, Masako Iijima)
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