KARACHI: A four-year-old boy, who was kidnapped and subjected to ‘criminal assault’ in Sir Syed Town, later died in hospital, police said on Wednesday.

They added that the minor boy had left his home to play with neighbourhood children in the slum area of Bilal Colony on Tuesday morning at around 10 or 11am.

Two hours later, he was found in an unconscious condition.

The child was taken to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital from where he was taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC).

Additional Police Surgeon of JPMC Dr Summaiya Syed said that the boy had been admitted to the neurosurgery ward of the JPMC where he died in the early hours of Wednesday morning. She added that there were bruises on his head.

She added that only a death certificate was shown to the MLO of the JPMC and the certificate mentioned the “cause of death as assault”.

She also added that only case papers were shown to the MLO section, but the body was not brought to the MLO for an autopsy. Dr Syed said that criminal assault could not be ruled out.

Sir Syed SHO Nawaz Ali Brohi said that when a patient died during treatment, there was no need of a post-mortem examination as doctors had already examined the boy at the ASH and later on at the JPMC.

However, the police are conducted proceedings under Section 174 of the criminal procedure code.

He revealed that the suspect was reportedly a teenager.

He said that doctors were of the view that the boy had died of torture.

Mr Brohi hinted that the police had got significant clues to the identity of the perpetrator(s) of the crime and expressed the hope that the suspect would be arrested soon.

According to the FIR registered at the Sir Syed police station, the complainant father, who studied at a seminary, said that he had left his home for the seminary on Tuesday morning when he received a phone call from his wife, asking him to quickly come back home.

He said when he reached home, he saw his son lying in a state of semi consciousness. There were also signs of bites on his body.

The father said that he believed that his son had been kidnapped and the kidnapper(s) attempted to assault the child. The police have launched an investigation into the case.

The police said that the FIR on Tuesday was registered under charges of kidnapping and injuries, however they would now incorporate murder charges in the case as the boy had died.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2020