LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday acquitted seven men in one of the nine cases police had registered in the Kasur child abuse scandal.

The presiding judge, Chaudhry Muhammad Ilyas, acquitted Saleem Akhtar Sherazi, Attiqur Rehman, Tanzeelur Rehman, Haseem Amir, Aleem Asif, Waseem Abid and Naseem Sheraz, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Ganda Singhwala police had registered cases against them as well as some other people on charges of abducting and sexually assaulting 280 children in Kasur. Most victims belonged to Husain Khanwala village.

The accused had also been blackmailing the families of the boys since 2009 and even sold the video clips having images of the assault. Later, a property dispute brought the issue to the surface.

The counsel for the accused argued that police implicated them in the cases on government’s pressure and they had no role in the scandal. He requested the court to release the arrested men.

Earlier on Aug 19, the ATC acquitted Saleem Akhtar Sherazi, Attiqur Rehman, Tanzeelur Rehman and Haseem Amir in another case (of the same scandal).

Last year, the court had awarded life imprisonment to Faizan Majeed and Haseem Amir in one of the many cases after the prosecution had accused them of sexually assaulting young boys and filming the act to blackmail the families.

The court has announced verdicts in three out of nine FIRs so far. At one stage the trial court had deleted Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act from the first information reports in some of the cases and referred the trials to the district and sessions court. But the Lahore High Court, on an appeal of the prosecution, set aside the decision and restored the provision of the anti-terrorism law.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2017

Opinion

What is terrorism?
Updated 07 Mar 2021

What is terrorism?

The term ‘terrorism’ is still defined in a vague and contradictory manner.

Editorial

08 Mar 2021

A celebration of women

WE now know that the pandemic is no ‘great equaliser’. The repercussions of the contagion on livelihoods, mental...
08 Mar 2021

Loss-making SOEs

THE government has chosen 84 out of a total of 212 state-owned enterprises for privatisation, liquidation or...
08 Mar 2021

Breast cancer awareness

CONSIDER the implications of the following statistic: no less than 70pc of Pakistani women suffering from breast...
After the vote
Updated 07 Mar 2021

After the vote

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan may have received the vote of confidence but it does not resolve the major issues that the...
07 Mar 2021

Wasted food

THE number is mind-boggling. According to the UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index, over 900 million tonnes...
07 Mar 2021

Covid-19 spike

FEARS about a spike in Covid-19 cases in the country turned real this week as coronavirus infections,...