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Five-year-old battling for life after rape

Rabia Ali

Karachi: A five-year-old girl who was raped last Saturday barely clings to life at a government hospital, as her parents complain of neglect on the part of doctors as well as of police inaction.

“She was admitted to the hospital three days ago, but she has not yet been operated upon. Her critical condition can be gauged from the fact that she is bleeding intermittently and finding it difficult to relieve herself,” says the mother.

Little M*, who belongs to the Hindu community, was allegedly raped by an unidentified sexual predator on the evening of February 26, when she was on her way to a Dhaba to buy tea near her home in Dost Mohammad Goth in Gulberg Town. When the child did not return, her mother rushed outside and found her crying and bleeding profusely near a roadside.

The girl has been battling for her life at the National Institute of Child Health for three days – traumatised and horrified. She does not talk to anyone except at times when she needs something. With fear and horror in her eyes, her fragile body is wrapped in a blanket, covering her injuries.

“She often went to the Dhaba but never did anything like this happen. She is only five years old. Why she was abused we cannot understand. We just want her to remain alive,” her mother told The News.

When contacted, Deputy Director NICH Arshad Hussain Domki was unaware about the patient and expressed surprise over the claims of neglect by doctors. “I’ll take notice of this.”

An uncle of the girl called for immediate arrest of the culprit. “No one has been arrested, nor has an investigation been carried out. Since the girl was raped in the neighborhood, it should not be difficult for them (police) to arrest the culprits.”

An FIR (56/2011) under Section 375 of the PPC has been lodged at the Joharabad police station against unidentified rapists.

SIO Muhammad Arif told The News that they were waiting for the girl to recover in order to record her statement. “At the moment, we are gathering information about the incident.”

The majority of rape victims and survivors in 2010 were children, according to War against Rape, an apolitical organisation working on the issue of rape since 1989. Out of the 266 cases of sexual assault, 55 percent involved teenagers under 18 while 43 percent involved children less than 16 years of age, says a report published recently by the NGO. Five children were raped and murdered last year.

The president of a child-rights organisation, Roshni helpline, Muhammad Ali, called for the formation of a child support centre at every police station in order to provide proper medico-legal facilities along with special police services to the victims.

“Sexual abuse against children seems to be increasing with every passing day. Not only children are being kidnapped and abused but are later killed.”

Source: The News