PESHAWAR: A child protection court has found an accused guilty of sexually assaulting and killing an eight-year-old girl and later burning her body and has sentenced him to death with fine of one million rupees.

The court presided over by additional sessions judge Hina Mehwish ruled that the prosecution had successfully proved its case against the accused, Asif Raza alias Malang, a resident of Balokhel village in Badabher area of Peshawar.

The court pronounced death sentence to the convict on three counts under section 302 (intentional murder), 376 (rape) and 364-A (kidnapping a person under the age of 14) of Pakistan Penal Code.

The bench ordered that the fine should be paid to the legal heirs of the deceased child as compensation.

One million rupees fine should be paid to legal heirs of the victim, orders judge

The court directed the superintendent of the Peshawar jail, where the convict has bene imprisoned, to carry out the awarded sentence upon confirmation of his conviction and sentence from the appellate court.

The minor girl had gone missing on Nov 18, 2020, and the next day her charred body was recovered from a graveyard in the area.

The occurrence had resulted into a public outcry and outrage and the convict was arrested a few days later. The house of the convict was also burned down by the enraged villagers after his arrest.

Father of the deceased child had initially lodged a complaint with the police regarding disappearance of his daughter. Subsequently, when body of the deceased was recovered an FIR was registered under different provisions of the PPC and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act.

The complainant had stated that on Nov 18, 2020, he had gone out to purchase some daily use items when he received a call from his father in the evening asking whether his daughter was with him or not. He stated that he returned home and found out that his daughter had gone missing.

The next day, he stated, the charred body of his daughter was found at a graveyard.

A few days later the convict was produced before the media persons in a briefing by high-ups of the police department stating that he had escaped to the adjacent Khyber district after the occurrence from where he was arrested.

Senior lawyer Syed Abdul Fayyaz appeared for the complainant whereas public prosecutor Arif Bilal represented the state.

The complainant’s counsel contended that the evidence on record fully connected the accused with the commission of the offence.

He contended that the accused had voluntarily confessed that he had molested the child when she had come to his residence, where he was alone at that time. He stated that he had also admitted that he then killed her and also torched her body so as to avoid his arrest by the police.

The counsel argued that the police had also recovered the motorcycle on which he had taken the body to the graveyard, where it was put to torch. He added that an employee of the filling station from where the accused had purchased petrol for purpose of burning down the body of the victim had also recorded his statement against him.

He further argued that a woman, who was cutting grass in the area when the accused was shifting the body to the graveyard, had also recorded her statement wherein she stated that she had spotted him in suspicious condition.

He contended that the accused was involved in an inhuman act and he did not deserve any leniency.

Published in Dawn, October 20th, 2023

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