MUHAMMAD ASHRAF MEHAR

KASUR

The number of students of the public and private schools of Hussain Khanwala, Kasur has declined by about 30 percent due to the child sex scandal that was brought to light by the media and condemned both at national and international levels.

The scandal came into light on August 4 when the protesters came on the Dolaywala stop, Kasur-Depalpur Road against the heinous business. It was continuous with connivance of influential people of the area including politicians and police. The modus operandi of the criminals was to abuse and film the male and female children ageing from 9 to 12 years and then to blackmail them and their families for financial benefits.

The village once was known for its excellent educational achievements throughout district Kasur. It has one Government High School and around half a dozen private institutions having more than 5,000 boys and girls students belonging to Hassain Khanwala, Bazeedpur, Goharr and Sh Ammad union councils.

According to school owners, almost 30 percent students have left the schools as their parents are reluctant to send their children to the schools of Husain Khanwala due to the scandal.

Besides the sex scandal, the crime rate in Ganda Singh Wala always remained higher than in the other parts of Punjab province. It is located in the suburbs of district Kasur and approximately 2km away from the Indian border.

Thefts, dacoities and waylaying are order of the day in the area which consists of about 250,000 people and 60 villages. Politically, the PML-N is the most popular party of the area. Most of crimes are not registered because of political pressure and influence. The child sex scandal in Hussain Khanwala is one of such examples as the victims were compelled to keep their mouths shut either by Master Zafar, the patron of the criminals, or by the police.

During the last five years, 21 SHOs were deputed at Police Station Ganda Singh Wala, mostly on political basis. Only one SHO was transferred while the rest were either dismissed from the service or sent to the police lines.

In the same period, Inspector Islam served thrice in the police station. Record 2,498 FIRs were registered during the last five years and around 500 cases were registered each year mostly of dacoities. The number of unregistered cases remained 2,000 a year. The main reasons behind the dacoities were the abused children who were to be blackmailed and forced to commit thefts mostly in their homes.