Farhat Abbas/Imran Aslam
SARGODHA/BHAKKAR - Police have arrested a second man accused of eating a newborn baby whose head was found at their home.
Farman Ali, 30, was detained a day after police arrested his brother, Mohammad Arif, 35, following the grisly discovery at their house in a remote district in Punjab province.
Officers were alerted after neighbours complained of a foul smell coming out of their property.
Arif has admitted he and Farman cooked and ate the dead body after his brother stole the corpse from a cemetery, according to police.
The pair, who live in the small town of Darya Khan around 300km south of Islamabad, had previously served two years in jail for cannibalism in a case that shocked the country.
Police said the brothers, arrested in 2011, had dug up more than 100 corpses from the local graveyard and eaten them.
They were only released last year.
District police chief Ameer Abdullah said as he revealed news of the first arrest: “Residents informed police after a stench emanated from the house of the two brothers. We raided the house on Monday morning and found the head of a young boy.”
Police said men’s wives and family members had left them some years ago and both were living in the house in isolation. The suspects would undergo psychiatric tests, the police chief said.
There is no specific law against cannibalism in Pakistan so, as in the 2011 case, Arif has been charged with desecrating a dead body and public order offences.
In the previous case, police had found the body of a 24-year-old woman who had died of cancer at the men’s house. She was without a leg, which the brothers had eaten.
Meanwhile, District and Sessions Judge Hamayun Imtiaz Chaudhry on Tuesday handed over two brothers to police on seven-day physical remand after they were arrested on charges of cannibalism.
The Darya Khan police brought the accused brothers - Arif and Farman – to Anti-Terrorism Court Sargodha in tight security but due to unavailability of the ATC judge, the police produced them in the district and sessions court. The officiating judge of ATC handed them over to police on seven days remand.
Separately, infuriated people of the area on Tuesday demolished house of the accused. It is to be recalled that in 2011, both the accused were apprehended for cannibalism and were sentenced in prison by the court and after the completion of imprisonment they again started eating dead human flesh.
Meanwhile a large number of lawyers as well as litigants present on the court premises gathered to capture a glimpse of man-eaters.
The police didn’t lock them in the judicial lock-up due to the possibility of any untoward reaction and kept them in police van under strict security.
Farhat Abbas/Imran Aslam