MARDAN: Autopsy report of a four-year-old baby girl whose body was found here on Sunday evening established that the minor was strangulated and there were also torture marks on her body, police said.

The body was recovered from sugarcane fields in Chandarpar Mohallah neighbourhood falling in the limits of Saddar police station.

An official requesting anonymity told Dawn that though the autopsy had established the strangulation as the cause of death besides torture marks on minor’s body, to establish whether the toddler was raped or molested, they had to wait for the forensic report which would take about three to four days.

Meanwhile, briefing reporters at the Mardan Press Club, district police chief Dr Mian Saeed said Mohammad Zahir, the complainant in the case, had approached the police saying her four-year-old niece had gone missing on Saturday evening. He said the family members told police that they searched for the minor but were unable to locate her. DPO Saeed announced a reward of Rs0.5 million for anyone providing police with information, leading to the arrest of the alleged killer.

He said a joint investigation team had also been formed under his supervision to investigate the incident. He added the incident occurred in a far off area where CCT V cameras and other electronic facilities were not available on the crime scene, and due to this reason it was difficult for police to investigate the case on technical basis.

He added the police were depending only on human information, adding a jirga of local elders had also been established to help the police investigations.

He said the police had arrested 20 suspects in connection with the case who were being interrogated so that to reach the real culprits.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2018