BAHAWALNAGAR-Locals staged a protest against the police by placing the dead body of a 7-year-old gang-rape victim and claimed that the police showed little interest in pursuing the case and was now protecting the facilitators of the crime.

According to details, McLeod Ganj police recovered the bruised and decayed corpse of 7 year-old Abdur Rehman from Basti Dewan Shehzad from nearby fields on the indication of the abductors who gang-raped the child. Minchinabad DSP Syed Ali Raza said that Akhtar and Saleem kidnapped the child from Itwar Bazaar (Sunday market) and took him to nearby fields where they raped and then killed him and buried the body there. On the complaint of the father, the McLeod Ganj police started searching for the boy in the nearby area and based on the CCTV footage of a petrol pump near the Sunday market, they arrested Saleem and Akhtar on the basis of suspicion. During investigation, the men confessed to kidnapping the boy and murdering him after gang-rape. The dead body of the child was recovered on the indication of the accused.

The heirs of the victim blocked Minchinabad Highway with the dead body of the child along with the people of the area and staged a protest against the police. The father of the child told media that when he approached McLeod Ganj police to find his missing child, the police advised him to look for him on their own. “Disheartened by the behaviour of the police, he complained to Bahawalnagar DPO two days ago after which the police sprung into action,” he said. Minchinabad DSP and SP (Investigation) Naeemul Haq reached to negotiate with the protesters. The protesters demanded action against the police officials who delayed the investigation. They said the protest would continue until the police arrest Dewan Pir Shehzad Ahmed Chishti, a local landlord. The father said that the perpetrators were employees of Chishti, and the delay in investigation was due to his influence.

Dewan Pir Shehzad Ahmed Chishti, in a phone conversation, told this scribe that he was unwell and was in Lahore for medical treatment. He said that both men had left his employment many days ago.