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SUKKUR: A 13-year-old boy was allegedly burnt to death after being subjected to severe torture in Khanpur Mahar town, Ghotki district, on Saturday.

The boy, son of a schoolteacher in Khangarh town, faced the savagery in an agricultural area on the outskirts of Khanpur Mahar.

He was taken to the Civil Hospital, Ghotki, which in turn referred him to the Civil Hospital, Sukkur, but he died there.

Both hospitals, like others in the interior of Sindh, have no burns ward.

The body was brought to the Ghotki hospital for post-mortem before being handed over to relatives. The relatives staged a sit-in at the main roundabout of their town after receiving the body.

Later they lodged an FIR with Khangarh police, naming Krishan and his sons, Anil Kumar alias Raja and Sunil Kumar, as suspects.

Police claimed they had caught the suspects while they were trying to escape.

Irfan Baloch, Ghotki’s Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), said “we would take some time” to reach a conclusion about the motive behind the butchery because there were three versions regarding the circumstances that preceded it.

One account said the teenager was subjected to sexual assault and then warned to keep mum. But he did not do so, telling his tormentors that he would lodge a complaint against them with the Hindu Punchayat, a powerful community-based organisation which settles disputes between its members. Fearing punishment which often entails social boycott, the accused silenced the boy by killing him.

Another version alleges that the boy and a friend of his were involved in “illicit relations” with a girl from the suspects’ family, the SSP said.

“Furthermore, some relatives of the victim attribute the incident to a land dispute between them and their rivals.”

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad has directed the inspector general of Sindh police to submit a report on the alleged incident.

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