Karachi: Girl uses kidnappers’ phone to call her father for help
KARACHI: Twelve-year-old Faiza Shakeel was kidnapped on November 21 and even though she was beaten, starved and forced to work, she refused to give up her parents’ contact details.
Faiza, the daughter of a naval officer, was kidnapped from outside her house in Saddar Town. Talking to Express News, Faiza said that the she was picked up by a man named Sohail, who kept her in a house in Saudabad.
The house belonged to his accomplice, Babar, who along with his wife, Rukhsana, brother-in-law Ghulam Abbas and father-in-law Hidayat, was part of a gang.
The little girl said she was treated like a servant and was often beaten up by Sohail and others in the house. Rukhsana would often hit her with shoes.
Then, on February 6, the girl got a lucky break. Rukhsana’s two little children were playing in the house and they had their mother’s cell phone. Seeing that none of the elders were in sight, Faiza quickly grabbed the phone and dialled her father’s number. She had to hang up, however, before he could answer because the kidnappers walked in then.
Her father, Muhammed Shakeel, called back on the number and Rukhsana picked up. She sounded suspicious enough for the Shakeel family to pass on the phone number to the police. The police began investigating and less than two weeks later, they managed to trace the call to a house in Saudabad. They carried out a raid on the evening of February 16, arrested four suspects and freed Faiza.
It was a happy day for Faiza’s family when the girl returned home. She is the eldest of four siblings and is a student of class VI in Bahria school.
“She looks completely different now, she’s lost so much weight,” said her worried father, Muhammad Shakeel but her mother, Aasia Shakeel, was utterly grateful. “Mein jitna shukar ada karoon kum hai. We’ve gotten our daughter back.”
Faiza’s medical examination will take place today (Friday).
Faiza said the kidnappers starved her for most of the day and only gave her some food in the night. Because she would cry and scream, they would give her sleeping pills in the night.
When they first brought her to this house and asked for her father’s phone number so they could call and ask for a ransom, Faiza became worried about her family. How would they pay, she thought and decided not to give any information. She kept the phone numbers and address details to herself. Eventually, her captors started telling her they were going to sell her.
According to the police, this gang was involved in kidnapping young women and then selling them. Ghulam Abbas is the alleged middleman and the only suspect who is still absconding.
The other four, Rukhsana, Hidayat, Sohail and Babar, have been arrested and investigations are under way, the police added.
The family spent a terrible few months looking for their girl. They did not even know for sure if she had been kidnapped or had just gone missing. Shakeel tried the police and all other officials he could get access to – but all attempts were in vain.
They even printed out ads and had them published in several newspapers, asking people to contact them with any information they had on Faiza.
Their hopes were raised when a man, Malik Haider, contacted them and said he knew where they could find Faiza. But he wanted Rs70,000 first. He asked Shakeel to transfer the money into his account, after which he would ensure they get Faiza back.
He asked for another Rs70,000 once they had their girl back. However, after the first transaction, the man disappeared. He did not contact them again but luckily, the police arrested him in January.
He then confessed that he had just seen the ad and had decided to make some money. He had no idea where, or who, Faiza was.
The police managed to get Rs60,000 back and returned it to the family.