ISLAMABAD: A four-year-old child who survived sexual assault and attempted murder has been moved from the paediatric intensive care unit at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences to a ward.
The hospital’s spokesperson Dr Wasim Khawaja told Dawn that the child is in far better condition than she was when she was brought to the hospital last week, adding: “She is out of danger.”
However, he said, it would take time for her to recover from the trauma and that would depend on the manner in which she is treated and the atmosphere in which she lives.
He said she is still weak, and is having difficulty with speaking and movement.
He said a team of doctors are observing the child and she is receiving treatment for the trauma.
Her ward is also under surveillance, and security is in place in and around the ward and outside her room, he said. Hospital security, police and Counter Terrorism Force personnel are providing security.
The team of doctors treating the child have permitted the police to speak to her, but only in the presence of medical professionals, he said.
The police have attempted a few times to record her statement, but Dr Khawaja said her condition deteriorated every time. He said she is also failing to recall and narrate what happened.
The child’s father also said that although she is behaving normally, her condition deteriorates whenever the incident is brought up. He said the police had tried to speak to her three times.
He said that she has so far told family and police that a man approached her when she was playing outside and told her her brothers were playing near the bushes and asked her to accompany him to join them.
The child’s father said that the man then took her to the bushes and began to strangle her. He quoted his daughter as saying that she heard her mother shouting for her when she was lying in the bushes but could not answer, despite trying.
Police officers told Dawn the case is being investigated, with assistance from various departments and agencies. Geo-fencing is almost complete and suspicious numbers are being selected so the status of their users can be verified and checked, they said.
Investigators are also collecting details from family and neighbours regarding their suspicions and children have been asked about people who have ever teased them or offered them anything.
DNA profiling of suspects picked up by investigators is also in progress, they said.
Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2019