Sindh is the land of love, the soil of Sufi saints, the tycoon in tolerance, and Sindh the mother land of mystic poets like Shah Abdul Lateef Bhittai is now on the verge of reversing its soft image. The people who used to say “Girls are equal to the 7 Holy Books” — are now being raped & killed whose age of tender, are victimized by rapist who wanted to overcome their frustrated sexual desires.
“According to official data: 349 cases and arrested 408 suspects across the province during the five-year period. “
Some can say: it is just sweeping statement, only some persons involved in such heinous crimes but being a journalist, I can count many cases from Kashmore the upper end of Sindh to Karachi the lower boundary. Cases are being reported, make hype on social media for some days, and then die off. People get engaged in their daily routine and the suffering family also hides their unhealed wounds behind dried eyes and start struggling to make their both ends meet.
Monika Larik case is one of the hundreds of such unhealed wounds which is stirring the water these days, but the stone is going to rest in the depth of crime sea and the water will again start looking calm till another case happens.
A recent police study about child abuse cases in the province showed that girls found to be more vulnerable between ages of 1-5 and 16-18 while boys found to be more vulnerable between ages of 6-10 and 11-15.
It said that the police registered total 349 cases and arrested 408 suspects across the province during the five-year period.
The police presented charge sheets of 257 cases before the courts concerned, 70 cases were cancelled while 17 cases remained untraced. Out of 257 cases referred to the courts, 17 cases ended up in conviction compared to 132 cases in which accused earned acquittal. Around 117 cases were still pending for trial, the study said.
Around 96 boys and 20 girls have fallen prey to abusers in Karachi alone.
According to figures, total of 116 children became victims of abuse in Karachi from year 2014 to 2019. Out of them, 96 were boys and 20 were girls.
The police arrested 86 suspects, presented charge sheets of 68 cases, cancelled 28 and showed 16 untraced in the provincial capital. The courts awarded punishments in three cases and acquittals in nine cases. At present, 56 cases were pending trial.
In Thatta district, 26 children, including 17 boys, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 38 suspects, presented challans of all 26 cases. The courts awarded conviction in two cases, granted acquittals in 17 cases while seven cases were still pending trial.
In Tando Mohammed Khan district, total 23 children, including 16 boys, fell victims to child abuse. The police arrested 38 suspects, presented challans of 18 suspects in courts and cancelled two cases. The courts convicted suspects in four cases and acquitted in eight cases. Six cases were pending trial.
In Tando Allahyar district, 15 children, including six girls, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 22 suspects, presented challans of nine cases while cancelled six cases. The court awarded punishment in one case while passed acquittal orders in five cases. Three cases were still pending for trial.
In Dadu district, 36 children, including 28 boys, were abused. The police arrested 51 suspects, presented challans of 25 cases while one case was cancelled. The courts convicted accused in three cases while acquitted those in 15 cases. Seven cases were pending trial in the said district.
In Matiari district, 37 children, including 27 boys, were abused. The police arrested 48 cases, presented challans of 33 cases while five cases were cancelled. The courts granted convictions in two cases and acquittals in 27 cases while four cases were pending trial.
In Shaheed Benazirabad district, total 53 children, including 34 boys, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 63 suspects, presented challans of 47 cases and cancelled one case. The courts awarded punishment in two cases and acquitted accused in 27 cases while 20 cases were pending for trial.
In Jacobabad district, total 24 children, including 12 girls, became victims of abuse. The police arrested 25 suspects, presented challans of 14 cases while three cases were cancelled. One case remained untraced. The courts acquitted accused in 12 cases. No one was convicted while six cases were pending trial.
In Larkana district, 14 children, including nine boys, were abused. The police arrested 13 suspects, presented challans of seven cases and cancelled five cases. No one was convicted and the courts acquitted accused in five cases. Two cases were pending trial.
In Naushahro Feroze district, total 14 children, including 10 girls, became victims of child abuse. The police arrested 24 suspects, presented challans of 10 cases and cancelled one case. No conviction was granted and the courts acquitted accused in seven cases while six cases were pending trial.
This is the horrible situation needs utmost attention of not only the police or law enforcing agencies but the law makers and the legal justice system also need to be awakened. As per the report out of 257 cases referred to the courts, 17 cases ended up in conviction compared to 132 cases in which accused earned acquittal. It means there is lake of interest of the investigation and prosecution personals in these cases and courts are also found more lenient towards the criminals.
Our “Civil Society” is filled with project-oriented or project seeking persons and organizations. The photo shoots and some status on social media are showered in the hype period and then those who are awarded with new projects engage in them and the rest start resting and looking for new issues.
Politicians have their own agendas so child rights are human rights have very low priority in their agenda. Mostly, we see the local politicians, trying to get some ease for culprits and some just come to pay Fateha and get some photos appear in media.
The question why such kinds of cases are being committed, so, rapidly needs to be answered by our social scientists; but as I think after the right wing enforced amendment in constitution during Z A Bhutto era in 1976, we closed many windows which were bringing some cool breeze to our plural society and General (R) Zia closed almost all of them.
Nowadays, we have very few escapes to get rid of our frustration. Our cinema industry died, dramas are seen in the history books, the parks are encroached and love is also prohibited due to our so-called customary traditions.
Our society is now started loving Stone Age era so they want that type of phenomenon. One who tries to break these chains is in anyway stoned to death. The designated red-light areas are generally closed, indeed, spread in entire towns. They have to hide more and for that they have to pay more there for the people coming there also have to pay tones of money, thus it is riches game now. Most of people are somehow far from entertainment but we have given a gun of mind destruction which in shape of cellphone with its bullets (net package) available very cheaply as we have very low cast of cell phone usage in entire world. The reason: our country tops the world in visiting porn sites. These elements multiply a person’s tendency towards sex crimes and the culprits in such cases are well known to the victims so murder is inevitable.
The time has come now we have to start psychological healing our minds that also looks not on the priority table of government. There are some psychotherapists in Karachi and Hyderabad, one in Mithi & one in Larkana rest is all the peace. Our syllabus also needs to be changed to meet the international standards. More and more positive entertainment must be injected in our social system and people must be allowed to get rid of religiously polluted air.
Jai Parkash Moorani is senior journalist & Minority Right Activist Twitter: @jaimoorani
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