Police on Tuesday arrested nine suspects after the body of a nine-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped and strangulated to death, was found in Sindh’s Khairpur district, officials said.
The minor girl, a resident of Laung Khan Larik area near Pir Jo Goth, had gone missing on January 9 and her body was found in a banana orchard near her home on Monday, according to Khairpur police.
Her father is a motorbike rickshaw driver and has eight children, the officer said.
The girl often used to stay at her employers’ house and it was in the knowledge of her parents, which is why they did not notice her absence until a day after she went missing. “But when she didn’t return home for two days they approached the family [where she used to work] and came to know that the girl had left two days earlier and did not stay there,” the DIG said.
When the parents mounted a search in the area, they found a part of her slipper and when efforts to locate her were accelerated, they found the utensils that she used to carry to bring food home.
“The parents eventually found her body in the nearby banana orchard,” DIG Mastoi added.
He said the footprints of two suspects were also found near the spot where the child’s body was found.
The girl’s postmortem was performed at Pir Jo Goth rural health centre (RHC), while a medical examination suggested that before being strangulated, she was subjected to rape, according to the DIG.
“Police have picked up nine suspects so far,” he said.
A case was registered against three unidentified persons under Sections 302, 376/2, 364-A and 201 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act on the complaint of the girl’s father at Pir Jo Goth police station.
In the FIR, the complainant said that his daughter had left home on Jan 9 to work at a haveli in Hadal Shah village but did not return for two days. He said when inquired about her whereabouts, the owner of the house where she worked said the girl had not come to their house for the last three days.
The father said he then started a search with the help of relatives and found her body in the same village. He alleged that three people had subjected her to rape and then strangulated her in the orchard.
While in Sialkot
The police presented the detained couple before a civil judge for allegedly physical abuse. The chid claimed the couple did not provide her a bed to sleep at night and forced her to eat food that “discarded and thrown into the garbage”.
After hearing police complaint, the judge sent the couple to prison.
A day earlier, the police said the couple would stay under custody until the medical reports are furnished. The minor had told authorities that her employers kept her at their home due to non-repayment of the money that her father had borrowed from them.
Muradpur police station house officer (SHO) had said at the time the victim was under mental duress and was handed over to the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau (CP&WB).
Shehzad, the man accused of torturing the girl, denied the allegations against him and his wife, claiming the “girl is a relative”.