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Child kidnapping, sexual abuse on the rise in Punjab

Child kidnapping, sexual abuse on the rise in Punjab

ISLAMABAD: Over 3,100 boys and girls have become victim of heinous crimes including kidnapping and sexual abuse during the last five years only in 12 districts of the Punjab, official data of the police revealed.

Among the total 3,132 reported cases, 820 were related to kidnapping (493 boys and 327 girls), 843 related to rape (683 boys and 160 girls), 682 related to sodomy (681 boys and 1 girl) and 787 were related sexual abuse (627 boys and 160 girls) in a dozen districts during the last five years (2013-2017).

The News obtained the data from the Punjab police while using requests under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2013.

Although the official statistics are very alarming having at least 52 cases each month, almost 02 cases per/day in these 12 districts but the number could have been much more higher as every such case isn’t reported due to various reasons.

The 12 districts which responded the RTI requests included Hafizabad, Pakpattan, Bhakkar, Okara, Rajanpur, Multan, Sahiwal, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura, Khushab, Rahim Yar Khan and Layyah. However, managers of the remaining 24 districts didn’t bother to respond to a process made compulsory under the law.

According to the data, Multan stood out among the 12 districts, having the worst numbers in terms of reported incidents of such heinous crimes with a figure of 1,394 (44.5 percent) in the last five years alone.

In Multan, 157 cases of kidnapping (95 boys and 62 girls), 679 cases of rape (all boys), 83 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 475 cases of sexual abuse (all boys) were reported from 2013 till 2017. It is important to note here that other than kidnapping, not a single case of girl victim was reported in Multan during the subject time.

After Multan, Sheikhupra stood at number two with 434 reported cases. Among those, 164 cases were about child kidnapping (117 boys and 47 girls), 51 cases of rape (all girls), 124 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 95 cases of sexual abuse (39 boys and 56 girls) were reported.

Okara district remained at number three in the list having 234 such reported cases. Among those, 118 were reported about child kidnapping (70 boys and 48 girls), 12 about rape (02 boys and 10 girls), 69 about sodomy (all boys) and 31 cases of sexual abuse (25 boys and 06 girls).

At number four was Pakpattan with 168 reported cases, having 71 cases of child kidnapping (37 boys and 34 girls), 12 cases of rape (all girls), 41 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 44 reported cases of sexual abuse (29 boys and 15 girls) in the last five years.

In the list, Nankana Sahib was at number five with 152 reported cases. Out of those, 33 cases were reported about child kidnapping (14 boys and 19 girls), 24 cases of rape (all girls), 61 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 34 cases of sexual abuse (03 boys and 31 girls) were reported during the subject time.

Similarly, Sahiwal remained at number six with 150 total reported cases. In the district 84 cases were reported about child kidnapping (55 boys and 29 girls), 18 cases of rape (all girls), 08 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 40 cases of sexual abuse (16 boys and 24 girls) were also reported. With 129 reported cases, Rahim Yar Khan stood at number seven in the list, having 38 cases of child kidnapping (18 boys and 20 girls), 19 cases of rape (all girls) and 72 cases of sodomy (all boys) reported in the district from 2013 till 2017.

At number eight was Rajanpur with 120 reported cases. Among those cases, 54 were about child kidnapping (33 boys and 21 girls), 47 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 19 cases were reported about sexual abuse (18 boys and 01 girl).

District Layya remained at number nine in the list with 90 reported cases. In the district, 36 cases were reported about child kidnapping (21 boys and 15 girls), 06 cases of rape (all girls), 34 cases of sodomy (33 boys and 01 girl) and 14 cases were reported about sexual abuse (06 boys and 08 girls).

With 85 reported cases, Hafizabad was at number ten. In Hafizababd, 18 cases were reported about child kidnapping (12 boys and 06 girls), 12 cases of rape (02 boys and 10 girls), 42 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 13 cases were reported about sexual abuse (02 boys and 11 girls) during the subject time period.

At number eleven was Khushab with 67 reported cases. Among those 23 cases were reported about child kidnapping (14 boys and 09 girls), 04 cases of rape (all 10 girls), 24 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 16 cases were about sexual abuse (10 boys and 06 girls).

At number twelve was Bhakhar with 48 reported cases. In Bhakhar, 22 cases were reported about child kidnapping (05 boys and 17 girls), 05 cases of rape (all girls), 15 cases of sodomy (all boys) and 06 cases were reported about sexual abuse (04 boys and 02 girls) during the last five years.

When contacted, DIG Legal Lahore Police Abdur Rab conceded to the fact that the heinous crimes were on the rise in the province.

People are being indulged in such crimes with the rising frustration level among the society because of multiple reasons, he said. The police officer stated that it was also an unfortunate fact that a large number of such cases aren’t reported due to certain pressures from society the parents had to face.

“Police lacks in training, funds and facilities because of which such complex cases are not properly investigated in time,” the DIG said. According to the officer, Zaineb murder cases of Kasur was investigated and solved within a few weeks only with the help of technology and all the facilities provided to Police by the authorities concerned.

To another question, the DIG further said Police need to be equipped on modern lines to deal with such cases as outdated methods wouldn’t be helpful to solve such cases complex in nature. He said police officials should also be imparted modern training for the purpose as well.

The News 

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