Karachi: BORDERING the affluent residential areas of Clifton and Bath Island is Retti Line.
It is an impoverished neighbourhood where the other half lives without basic amenities and below the poverty line.
From one ordinary household, where the daily struggle continues, a young girl child has her world turned upside down.
The six-year-old belongs to a large family with many siblings, one of whom is retarded.
The father is a driver and the mother a housemaid; both are illiterate. The girl was lured away by two young men in their teens and raped.
It was almost two days before the crime was discovered when she was brought to Jinnah Hospital as her condition worsened. The doctors raised a hue and cry and insisted the father report the matter.
The mother questioned the child who seemed to have withdrawn from the world and the culprits were identified as neighbourhood boys. The police acted swiftly, the boys were picked up and judicial remand obtained.
The question now is where do we go from here. Will this case be handled expeditiously by the police and courts, or with the waning of public interest will it get shelved or dropped due to lack of interest or other factors?
The family must move on to more urgent matters pertaining to their daily bread and survival. Who will guarantee justice for the victim who will bear the scars for life? Will she be ostracised by her social class, probably yes. What about her emotional health?
Many questions, no firm answers. The minimum we as civil society can do is to insist on a speedy trial that leads to the conviction of the guilty, whoever they may be.