LAHORE - Police investigators on Wednesday claimed to have arrested a teenager who molested a five-year-old boy and later hanged him in a mosque in Green Town.

“We have successfully solved this (blind murder) mystery. The DNA test and forensic evidences confirmed the involvement of Shoaib in this heinous crime,” Lahore CCPO Amin Wains told reporters while addressing a news conference at his office. SSP (Investigation) Rana Ayyaz Saleem and SP CIA Muhammad Umar Virk were also present on this occasion.

On January 2, a boy’s bared body was found hanging from the staircase grill on the upper portion of the mosque - Masjid Baitul-Mukarram - located near Behari Chowk.

The 15-year-old killer, who is a resident of the same area and works at a local barber shop, was later produced before the media men. On this occasion, the youth confessed to killing the boy after sexual assault.

Police are also interrogating a 28-year-old cleric, Saqib, in connection with the killing. Earlier, the police had declared Saqib as the prime suspect.

It was learnt that the arrested youth took the boy to the upper portion from the rear gate of the mosque. The alleged killer told reporters that he had kicked the boy in the belly when he offered resistance. As a result, the minor boy fell unconscious. He molested the boy and then fled after hanging his body on the stairs with a rope.

A CIA police team headed by SP Omar Virk visited the crime scene soon after the incident, recorded the statements of the suspected persons, and collected circumstantial evidences from the spot. At least nine suspected persons had been detained after a murder case was registered against unidentified killers.

Investigators also questioned several residents of the area including the Imam of the mosque.

The CCPO informed the media that Shoaib was habitual of committing unnatural offense with children. He further said that the investigators had collected enough evidences to prove the involvement of Shoaib in the killing but they preferred to carry on investigations by using scientific methods. “We arrested him in the light of DNA report, prepared by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA),” he concluded.

A police officer told this reporter that Saqib had not been given clean chit by the police since he also confessed to molesting the same boy, just two days before the incident took place. “During the interrogation, Saqib admitted that he had molested the same boy two days before the murder. But he denies murdering him,” the officer said.

However, the Lahore police chief has announced cash prizes and commendatory certificates for the police team which unearthed the killer.

On the other hand, rights activists say the cases of child abuse are on the rise in the country. A report titled “The State of Pakistan’s Children-2013” released last year revealed that in 2013, some 2,033 cases of young children abuse (1,365 boys and 668 girls) were reported. They included 1,115 kidnappings along with 294 murder cases, 102 cases of boys’ sexual assault while 97 children were sold into slavery.