LOWER DIR: The Munda police here have arrested three suspects, including head of an orphanage-cum-seminary and his son, in Mandizo area of Jandol after they were charged by the father of a seven-year-old girl with her assault and murder.

The police arrested the seminary head, Maulana Ziaul Haq Haidari on Thursday night, and his son, Abu Bakar and body guard, Sanaullah, on Friday. They were produced before a judicial magistrate, who remanded them for four days.

An FIR of the case was registered under sections 302 (intentional murder) and 376 (rape) of Pakistan Penal Code and section 53 (sexual abuse) of KP Child Protection and Welfare Act.

Sartaj, the victim’s father, told the police in the FIR that the seminary administration informed him on May 17 that his daughter had died and collect her body. He, however, claimed his daughter was killed several days ago and her body was kept hidden in the seminary.

HRCP asks govt to ensure justice to victim’s family

The complainant said after the girl’s postmortem report, which he got on May 23, he got registered a case against the seminary head, his son, his body guard and others for his daughter’s murder.

The complainant said he had got his daughter admitted to the seminary a month ago.

Official sources said the medical report confirmed the girl’s death was caused by torture. The postmortem was conducted at the District Headquarters Hospital, Timergara.

Delay in postmortem report triggered calls from public circles and social media activists that an impartial and transparent investigation should be conducted into the case. Area elders also met district police officer Mazhar Iqbal, asking him to order probe into the matter.

The administration of the orphanage/seminary had earlier claimed the minor girl had died after quilts fell over her.

The sources said an investigation team supervised by SP investigations Rashid Ahmad had been formed to investigate the case.

Meanwhile, civil society activists demanded of Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur to order a judicial inquiry into the girl’s murder.

Maulana Ziaul Haq Haidari is known throughout the region for his fiery speeches and political influence.

Earlier, he was leading the Pakistan Rah-i-Haq Party as its district head, but he joined Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf before the Feb 8 elections. He also contested polls for the provincial assembly seat in the past.

Currently, he is serving as chairman of the dispute resolution council in the Jandol subdivision.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on Friday demanded of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to ensure justice to the deceased girl’s family, who was allegedly raped and murdered at a seminary in Dir.

A press release issued here said the HRCP was shocked to learn about the rape and murder of the girl. “With over 4,200 child abuse cases were reported in 2023 across Pakistan, violence against children is absolutely inexcusable and must be dealt with a severe hand,” the release said.

The HRCP urged the KP government to hold the arrested perpetrators accountable to the fullest extent of the law so that the culture of impunity must be ended now.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2024

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