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SAHIWAL, Sept 28: Harrappa police have yet to arrest a shopkeeper and his two associates who allegedly tortured a 13-year-old orphan boy to death on Friday night while ‘interrogating’ him in connection with a petty theft.

Waqas Anjum, whose father had died, worked as a helper at the grocery shop owned by Suleman at 105/7-R village. His widow mother is a daily-wager.

On Thursday night, a theft occurred in the shop of Suleman who called a khoji (a person who claims he can trace a thief by following footprints) next day to resolve the matter.

According to locals, the khoji after inspecting the crime scene told Suleman that Waqas was the thief. At this, the shop owner, along with two influential men of his Biradri – Khalid and Muzammil – went to Waqas’ house on Friday night and asked his mother to hand over the boy for ‘interrogation’. The poor widow had no other option but to obey them.

The three men brought the boy to the shop and started subjecting him to severe torture.

According to locals, the boy’s cries could be heard outside the shop but nobody intervened. The boy was allegedly subjected to torture for some seven hours and finally fell unconscious.

As his condition deteriorated, the accused left him at his house and fled away. The boy reportedly died while being shifted to the hospital.

Sources said the medical report issued by the District Headquarters Hospital confirmed the boy’s neck was broken.

Harrappa police allegedly tried to use delaying tactics but later on the insistence of locals a murder case (FIR 443/13) was registered against three accused. All the three accused were still at large.

Alamadar Husain, the head of district core group of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), brought the matter into the notice of District Police Officer Syed Khurram Ali, demanding immediate arrest of the accused.

Investigating Officer Malik Masood said police were conducting raids on the possible hideouts of the accused.