Lahore: 4 held for sexual assault, murder of boy
LAHORE, Jan 13: The Nawab Town police arrested on Friday four people for the murder of a teenaged factory employee. Police say the suspects are “habitual sex offenders” who gang-raped and killed Khadim Husain under the influence of drugs on Jan 7.
The suspects include Mushtaq, of Vehari, Waqas, of Abbasabad, Imran, of Ali Razaabad, and Shahbaz Yousuf, of Katchi Kothi, Raiwind Road.
According to the first information report, 15-year-old Khadim went out of the factory, located on Raiwind Road, on Jan 7 to buy diesel from a nearby market. He did not return, and the next day, police found his body in a nearby neighbourhood.
The blind murder perplexed the police. It infuriated victims’ kin and other local residents who blocked the road for four hours and ransacked the factory. Agitators held the factory owner and some officials responsible for the incident, and demanded a police action against them. The arrested four suspects were also among the protesters.
Police got a major clue in their search for the killers when they learnt that Khadim had taken a rickshaw to go to the market. The police consulted the rickshaw drivers association and got a tip which led them to Waqas, also a rickshaw driver.
During interrogation, Waqas confessed to his crime and said he along with his three accomplices gang-raped and killed Khadim at an open place in Green Fort Scheme late on Jan 7. As Shahbaz was a cousin of the victim, they planned to kill Khadim to conceal their crime.
An investigation officer said the suspects had history of sex offences.
Waqas remained in jail for sexually assaulting and killing a minor girl some three years ago. Police later found the victim’s body in a pigeon aviary. Waqas was released after his family paid a Rs700,000 blood money to victim’s heirs. Another suspect Shahbaz had allegedly sexually assaulted a young rickshaw driver near Ali Razaabad.
The findings of the case have shocked police officers who stress the rehabilitation of habitual sex offenders as being done in the developed countries, a key feature of their criminal justice system.
Chuhng Circle ASP Jehanzeb Khan said criminal action alone did not do any good to sex offenders as they needed rehabilitation. He said in the case, all accused were habitual of sexually abusing teenagers and adults under the drug influence.
The issue of rehabilitation may appeal to social scientists and the judiciary but not to victim’s uncle Sharif Husain who demands punishment for the four offenders.
“I think the merciless killers of the innocent youth deserve no treatment at any rehabilitation centre. They should be given exemplary punishment under laws,” he said.
Factory owner Zarash who suffered a Rs20 million loss by the protesters has refused to lodge any complaint with the police against the assailants.