LHC seeks JIT report on Kasur scandal

By: Rana Tanveer

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday directed the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the Kasur scandal to submit a detailed report on the case, in which a gang of 20-25 men allegedly filmed as many as 400 videos of sexual abuse of at least 280 children from Kasur’s Hussain Khan Wala village.

The LHC Chief Justice Manzoor Ahmad Malik gave this directive while hearing a petition demanding trial of the case by an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) instead of a court of ordinary jurisdiction.

Earlier, Punjab Home Secretary Azam Salman Khan, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, the JIT chief DIG Abubakar Khuda Bakhs and other officials appeared before the court.

The IGP told the court that seven cases had been registered so far on complaints received by the police.
“I myself visited Kasur and motivated people to lodge complaints, if any, about the alleged child abuse,”

Sukhera said, adding that police had arrested twelve suspects and more arrests were underway.
Appearing before the court, the DIG Bakhs revealed that 30 video clips of the child abuse had been recovered from the suspects. “Investigation is in progress in light of the recovered video evidences,” he added.

An additional advocate general told the court that provisions of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) had been added in the FIRs of the case and the arrested suspects were on physical remand.

The chief justice told the petitioner’s counsel Advocate Aftab Bajwa that the government had already inserted the ATA provisions in the case as requested in the petition.

Advocate Bajwa, putting another request, said the JIT should be formed under an officer from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) with officials of other secret agencies as its members.

Opposing the request, the law officer said the law did not allow appointing officer of a secret agency as head of any JIT. “The JIT could be led only by a police officer,” he added.

The judge observed that the courts did not follow anyone’s desires but the law and the Constitution. He later adjourned further hearing till August 20.

Seven more sent on physical remand

Meanwhile, an ATC on Wednesday remanded seven more suspects of Kasur child abuse scandal in 27-day police custody for interrogation and collection of evidence.

Ganda Singhwala police produced the suspects before the court amid strict security arrangements. The suspects included Abdul Mannan, Khalid, Naseem, Sabir, Umar and Rai Basharat.

The investigating officer told the court that the suspects were nominated in the case for their major role in the mass child abuse. He asked the court to grant a 30-day remand of the suspects.

Express Tribune

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