PESHAWAR              -           Dead body of a nine-year-old girl, who was allegedly sex­ually assaulted, was found dumped at a drain in Sheikh Maltoon Town, a locality of Mardan, yesterday, police said.

The accused, who is neighbour of the victim, was arrest­ed after a thorough investigation conducted on a complaint filed with the Sheikh Maltoon Town police on March 27 by her father about the missing of her daughter, District Police Officer Sajjad Khan told The Nation here.

The complainant, Iqbal, mentioned in his complaint that on March 26 his nine-year-old daughter, Maha Khan, had gone out to buy a packet of soap from a local shop, but didn’t return. Later, the family conducted search for their missing girl in the locality, but they didn’t find it.

Next day (Friday), Iqbal approached Sheikh Maltoon Town Police Station in Mardan district and lodged a case.

The DPO said that a police team, comprising SP Opera­tions Waqar Azeem, DSP Muhammad Tayyeb Jan, and SHOs Ajab Durrani and Muqadam Khan, was constituted to search and investigate the missing girl.

The team conducted a thorough search of the locality and after hectic efforts found a suspicious filled sack at a drain, close to her house.

When the sack was opened, the police found the dead body of Maha Khan, the DPO explained.

“The blind case was a challenge for the police. However, logo of a shop printed on the sack in which the body was wrapped helped in solving the case,” DPO Sajjad Khan re­marked.

He added the police arrested the alleged rapist and killer, Akhtar Hussain, who was a worker of the victim girl’s father, within 24 hours of the lodging of the FIR.

“The girl used to visit Akhtar Hussain’s house. On the day of incident, the girl entered Akhtar’s house. Since his wife was not present in the house, he sexually assaulted the girl, later wrapped her body in a sack and threw it in a drain,” the official said.

He also disclosed that the accused has two wives, one of whom is settled in Karachi.

The DPO said that KP police chief Sanaullah Abbadi has announced a cash reward and commendation certificates for the police party that arrested the culprit.