By Riaz Ahmad
PESHAWAR: Another young boy was raped in Jaba Sohail within the jurisdiction of Yakatoot police station in the city.
Yakatoot SHO Sabz Ali Shah told The Express Tribune on Sunday an 11-year-old boy was raped a few days ago, but the incident was only recently reported to the police.
He added Taj Muhammad, the accused, has been arrested. He is said to be a father of four children.
“The boy is a student of class five,” an investigation officer of Yakatoot police station said. “He was fond of Taj and frequently visited him. On that particular day, Taj took him to his baithak and raped him. The boy told his father [about the incident] after some time. The boy’s father registered an FIR against the accused.”
The officer added, “We have arrested and obtained physical custody of the accused. Taj, is a resident of Hafizabad.”
According to the investigation officer, the medical report of the victim has yet to be released.
This is the fourth case to surface from Yakatoot this year.
An eight-year-old was raped on March 27 in Palosai village within the jurisdiction of Tehkal police station.
“We as a society have adopted the ostrich approach and denied reality as far as child sexual abuse is concerned,” Arshad Mahmood, a child rights activist, told The Express Tribune. “It is time we face the issue and realise the gravity of the situation.”
Mahmood added, “An effective child protection system is needed and this system is not like a machine. We need to make the community as well as children aware.”
He said a preventive strategy was needed to address this problem instead of rigid approach to policing.
“We need to prevent these [from happening],” he maintained. “Once a child has been raped, no degree of punishment for the accused can make him [or her] or what he [or she] used to be before.”
Mahmood said the government could not be exempted from its responsibility. According to the rights activist, civil society has been repeatedly demanding the allocation of funds for a child protection system in K-P.
Imran Takkar, another child rights activist, said there are gaps between society and the state regarding an effective child protection system, He said these gaps need to be fixed.