By: IMRAN AYUB
KARACHI: Police investigators on Friday claimed to have a achieved a breakthrough in the probe into the murder of a teenage girl who was kidnapped on Tuesday and sexually abused before being killed but ruled out ransom as the primary motive.
A senior police official said that a major development was expected in the case over the next 48 hours as vital pieces of evidence collected so far and the detailed report of medico-legal examination had reassured them that the probe was moving in the right direction.
“It is not a kidnapping for ransom case and we have reason to believe that,” said Karachi Central SSP Amir Farooqi.
He said the investigators were moving very fast and in the right direction “so we hope to get to something big within the next 48 hours”.
Police had laid their hands on a number of vital evidence, which helped them to establish the motive for the heinous crime but it would not be appropriate to share the findings with the media at this stage because of sensitivity of the case, he said.
The 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped on Tuesday and subjected to abuse was later dumped into the sea by her tormentors. Her body washed ashore on the Seaview beach on Thursday morning.
The body’s medical examination proved later the girl had been subjected to an “unnatural sexual offence” and the death was caused by obstruction of air passage through nose and mouth.
The only child of her parents, the girl was resident of a poor neighbourhood Bhangoria Goth near Azizabad in Federal B Area. Police later found the girl was taken away from her school near her home by a woman who told the school staff she had come to pick the girl because her mother had fallen ill.
Though the victim’s father, a poor kulfi seller, denied he had any enmity with any individual or group, the investigators believed the girl was kidnapped to be abused and killed for the reasons which would ‘unfold’ in the due course of time.
The shocking incident was a grim reminder of the Lahore rape case of a minor girl whose tormentors are still at large and police are said to be clueless about the prime suspects. Hence the overtly strong reaction by the Sindh government.
“Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident,” said Waqar Mehdi, special assistant to the chief minister. “The inquiry will be headed by a retired high court or sessions court judge. A notification in this regard with detailed terms of reference is expected to be issued in a day or two,” he said.
Asked that though the incident heinous it was not a sudden phenomenon in the crime-infested city and what had pushed the authorities to react so strongly in this particular case, Mr Mehdi cited the Lahore rape case and said “there is another thing. Most of the times the families of the victim do not trust police investigation.
“And most importantly, because it’s a brutal act and one shudders at even the thought of placing oneself in the victim’s place and feeling the horror she had gone through. The successful judicial inquiry will also prove deterrence against such crimes. The inquiry has nothing to do with criminal investigation being done by the police,” he said.
Meanwhile, the provincial education authorities cancelled the registration of the school which allowed a stranger to take away the girl. “The registration of the Rose Season Grammar School, Azizabad, has been cancelled on the directives of Sindh senior minister for education and literacy Nisar Ahmed Khuhro,” said an official statement.
“The step has been taken after the kidnapping and murder of the girl student. A three-member committee headed by deputy director of inspection Abdul Sattar has been formed to probe the incident and submit a report within two days,” it said.
It said the minister had directed administrations of all public and private schools to enhance security and not to hand over any student to any stranger except their blood relatives.
“The minister has warned the registration of the private schools will be cancelled if they fail to comply with the instructions and strict action will be taken against their administrations,” said the statement.
Mr Khuhro had also directed the administrations of private schools to collect data of the drivers who picked and dropped students. The data should be provided to police stations concerned to help avoid repeat of such horrific incidents and ensure safety of students, added the statement.