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Three-year-old girl allegedly killed by police constables

By S. Raza Hassan

KARACHI: A three-year-old girl was allegedly killed by two police constables after she disappeared on Friday.

Three-year-old Sana, the daughter of Mohammad Qasim, went missing on Friday after leaving her house in Noorani Basti, Korangi 3 ½, to play with her friends.

Sana was the youngest of her seven brothers and sisters. When Sana did not return home that night, her family got worried and began to search for her. The family, along with the people of the neighbourhood, started a search for the young girl, but to no avail.

Late on Friday night, the family of the young girl lodged a missing persons report at the Zaman Town police station.

The family and neighbours continued to look for the girl on Saturday, but failed to locate her.

On Sunday, one of the victim’s playmates, who is also her cousin, Nagma, identified one of the suspects when she saw him in the neighbourhood.

“The young girl, Nagma, identified Bashir Ahmed, saying he gave Rs5 to Sana before she went missing,” SP Pervaiz Umrani told Dawn.

After the young girl – who lives in a house located opposite to the one being rented by the policemen – informed her elders about the suspect’s presence, people of the area nabbed two suspects. Both of them were police constables, and were identified as Bashir Ahmed and Noor Mohammad.

The two suspects were given a thorough beating by the area people, who locked them in a room after informing the police about their capture. The police came and then took the suspects into custody.

During the interrogation, the suspects disclosed the location where they had disposed of the body.

Police went to the scene, which turned out to be an open manhole in the uneven pavement near the FTC building, an area where there is frequent digging due to maintenance work.

It took around two hours for the rescue workers and police to recover the body of young Sana.

The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination.

A lady medico-legal officer conducted the post-mortem examination and reserved the report till such time as the swabs sent for chemical examination are returned with a report.

However, hospital sources said that the young girl appears to have been throttled after being subjected to suspected sexual abuse.

Answering a question about the motive of the two suspects, SP Umrani said that the two suspects claim that they found the girl’s body in the water tank of their house when they returned from duty on Friday night.

However, SP Umrani told Dawn that because the body was disposed of and the police were not informed about it, the story is doubtful. He also said the victim’s friend’s account also seems to implicate the suspects.

The two policemen, constable Bashir Ahmed (posted in the Korangi Traffic section) and Noor Mohammad (posted in the DHA traffic police), had rented the house in Noorani Basti some 12 days ago, area people said.

On Sunday morning, they came to their rented house to collect their belongings, but were caught by area people.

Following their arrest, area people took over the house the accused were living in and searched it. The service shoes of the policemen and their service badges were found in the house.

The police, however, do not appear to have conducted any real examination of the house to collect evidence or to establish it as a crime scene.

The SP of the Korangi police station told Dawn that the police had not found any evidence from the premises.

He said that the police have registered an FIR (No 331/2009) under Sections 364 and 302/34 against constables Bashir Ahmed and Noor Mohammad, who have been nominated in the FIR on the complaint of Abdul Hashim, the uncle of the deceased girl. The FIR has been registered at the Zaman Town police station.

Following the post-mortem examination, the body of the young girl was handed over to the family by the police. The three-year-old girl was buried by the family at a local graveyard in Korangi on Sunday night amidst moving scenes.

SSP Investigation Niaz Khoso told Dawn that to strengthen the police’s case, tests should be carried out on the swabs or clothing of the girl and DNA tests of the accused should also be carried out to ascertain the true picture. If the DNA test and samples found on the clothing or swab of the girl match, it would amount to incriminating evidence which cannot be tampered with, the SSP maintained.
Source: Dawn
Date:7/6/2009

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