At least three women and four children were allegedly raped in Punjab’s Kasur district over the past two days, it emerged on Wednesday.
Additionally, one case of attempted rape was also reported from the city.
According to one complaint, a woman was gang-raped at gun point by seven men, who hailed from Bheela village. A first information report was filed at the Sheikhum police station with the victim’s husband as the complainant, who said that this was the second time the suspects had raped his wife.
The complainant said that the suspects have locked his house and were forcing him and his family to leave the village. Investigation is under way but police are yet to arrest any suspects.
In another case, a man allegedly raped a 15-years-old girl in Noorpur Jattan village within the Sadar Chunian police station’s jurisdiction. The victim was alone at her house when she was assaulted by the suspect, who belongs to the same village. An FIR of the incident was registered and the suspect has been arrested.
According to another FIR filed at the Chunian police station, a woman from Gidhpur village was sexually assaulted by a man when she was alone at her house. The suspect then fled the scene but was later arrested by the police.
Separately, a three-year-old boy was sexually abused by a 12-year-old in Rati Pindi village, according to an FIR registered at Kot Radha Kishan police station with the victim’s father as the complainant. The juvenile suspect took the victim to the roof of his house where he was seen by some women from the village.
According to the complainant, the village council was forcing him to reconcile with the suspect, however the victim’s father had refused. Police have arrested the suspect.
Another FIR was lodged at the Phoolnagar police station, according to which a four-year-old boy was raped by a man in the fields in the Bonga Balochan village. The child was lured into the fields by the suspect, who managed to escape after abusing the victim. He was later arrested.
A seven-year-old boy was allegedly sexually assaulted at an under-construction house in the Bhasarpura locality, which falls under the jurisdiction of B-Division police station. According to the FIR, the suspect took the child to the house where he subjected him to rape. The suspect is under arrest.
Another incident was reported from Hameed Town, where a man raped a 13-year-old boy who was his neighbour. An FIR was lodged at the City Pattoki police station, which said that the suspect took the victim to his house. The suspect has been arrested and investigation is underway.
Separately, a case of attempted rape was registered at Sadar police station. According to the FIR, the suspect tried to sexually assault his sister-in-law but fled after she screamed. An FIR was registered with the victim as the complainant and the suspect has been arrested.
Kasur in the spotlight
In the last few years, Kasur has been rocked by multiple incidents of abuse, rape and killings of children. As many as 251 cases of rape, gang rape and child abuse have been reported and cases have been registered in the first half of 2020 alone.
The district came into the spotlight in 2015, when a child pornography ring was busted in the district’s Hussain Khanwala village. Hundreds of video clips had emerged showing a gang forcing dozens of minor boys and girls to perform sexual acts and filming them. The gang had also used the videos to blackmail the children’s families and extort millions in cash and jewellery from them.
In 2018, nationwide protests broke out when Zainab Ansari, a six-year-old, was found dead in a trash heap near Shahbaz Khan Road, five days after she went missing. Hers was the 12th such incident to have occurred within a 10-kilometre radius in Kasur over a 12-month period.
The prime suspect, Imran Ali, had been arrested on January 23, 2018, and on June 12 of the same year the Supreme Court had turned down his appeal against the death sentence, noting that he had admitted to committing similar offences with eight other minor victims. Ali was subsequently executed in October, 2018.
In September last year, the city was shaken again when authorities recovered bodies of three minors from sand dunes near Chunian bypass.
According to police, two of the children were reported missing in Kasur’s Chunian tehsil in July 2019, while the third had gone missing two days before his body, along with those of others, was recovered. On the indication of a local worker, police found the body of one of the boys and the skeletal remains of the other two at a deserted place in Chunian Industrial Estate area.
The main suspect, Sohail Shahzad, a resident of Chunian, was arrested on October 1, 2019 after his DNA matched with samples recovered from the remains of a victim. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had announced his arrest at a detailed press conference. He was convicted for kidnapping, raping and murdering a minor boy in Chunian and handed him the death sentences on three counts.