The body of an unidentified minor girl, who was raped and strangled to death, was found in the bushes in Sohrab Goth’s Aligarh Society on Monday.
The girl’s body was taken to an Edhi morgue for want of identification. The victim appeared to be no more than 10 years of age.
The vicious crime was reported to the in-charge of the Ayub Goth police post by several people who had spotted the body in the bushes. Sohrab Goth SHO Shoaib Sheikh said a team of police officials rushed to the scene, recovered the minor’s body and took it to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) for a post-mortem examination.
The SHO said a medico-legal examiner had confirmed that the minor was subjected to rape before she was strangled to death. Clad in a red dress, there was nothing else the police found to help them ascertain the girl’s identity.
Child sexual abuse on the rise
“The city is witnessing a rise in cases of child sexual abuse,” Sheraz Ahmed, programme office at the War Against Rape (WAR), told The News.
For the past decade, approximately 340 to 380 rape cases have been reported in the city annually, he said. “So far this year, 47 cases of sexual abuse have been reported at WAR’s desk at ASH.”
Ahmed attributed the rise in such cases to non-implementation of the anti-rape law passed by the parliament last year. “To provide quick justice to the victims and their families, the parliament had approved the bill which maintains that the court will decide rape cases within three months, or six months if the case is complex.”
However, the level of the law’s implementation is such that not a single perpetrator has so far been convicted in a rape case, he added.
“In February 2017, the Sindh Assembly made DNA testing in rape cases mandatory through the Code of Criminal Procedure (Sindh Amendment) Bill, 2017. But the doctors, as per WAR’s report, do not conduct the test in every case.”
Ahmed maintained that a lack of female medico-legal examiners at hospitals was adding to the woes of rape victims and survivors. He said that there were only two female medico-legal officers (MLOs) in the entire city.
“Ideally, there should be at least 15 female MLOs each at ASH, the Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi and the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. And if the government can’t afford a large number of female MLOs, then there should be at least two trained female MLOs in these hospitals.”