Chunian children’s families seek return of victims’ remains

Updated October 08, 2019

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The bereaved families of the three children, who were killed after being sexually abused in Chunian, are waiting for the remains of the victims to bury them. — Reuters/File
The bereaved families of the three children, who were killed after being sexually abused in Chunian, are waiting for the remains of the victims to bury them. — Reuters/File

KASUR: The bereaved families of the three children, who were killed after being sexually abused in Chunian, are waiting for the remains of the victims to bury them.

On Sept 17, the police recovered an unidentified body and the remains to two children from the sand dunes near Chunian bypass.

The body was identified as that of Faizan, while the remains were identified as those of Ali Hussnain and Salman, through DNA profiling.

A few days later, police found clothes of a boy near the same dunes that they believed belonged to a fourth missing child, Imran.

The children had been missing for three months before their remains were discovered. Their families had staged several protests against police’s inaction to recover them.

A joint investigation team had pinned the blame of all four killings on Sohail Shahzad of Rana Town, Chunian, on Oct 1.

The families of Hussnain, Salman and Imran told the media that they were waiting for police to hand over the remains of their children so they could bury them.

Muhammad Afzal, the father of Hussnain, said his wife was in a miserable condition and may be consoled after the remains of their son were buried.

Muhammad Ramzan, the father of Imran, was also waiting for police to hand over the remains of his son.

He said the police only recovered the clothes of his son and had yet to find the body.

Muhammad Akram, the father of Salman, said that his family would only find peace once they received and buried their son.

Civil society and residents of Chunian also demanded the police high-ups to take serious notice of the situation and return the remains of the children to the bereaved families.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Shamsul Haq Durrani said that it was a sensitive and important issue as vital evidence was attached to the case that had attracted the attention of the entire country.

He also said that returning of the remains of the three children required due process and legal course.

He further claimed that the investigators were trying to prepare a comprehensive report, including DNA of the remains, to do justice with the children.

District Police Officer (DPO) Zahid Nawaz Marwat, who was heading the joint investigation team on the incident, said that he had taken up the matter with the Punjab Forensic Science Agency to complete the process with the victims’ remains so they could be handed over to the families. He said it was a time-consuming process and the remains could not be handed over until all of them were identified.

ROBBERY: A gang of 14 suspected robbers in police uniforms forced their entry into the house of a former PML-N councillor and robbed the family of gold and cash worth Rs4.5 million at gunpoint in village Sheirpur on Monday.

According to complainant Shoaib Ahmed, at least 14 armed robbers, who introduced themselves as police officials, directed him to open the house for a search operation.

Later, the gang held the family hostage at gunpoint and looted 45 tolas of gold and Rs600,000 in cash before fleeing. Police were looking into the matter.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2019