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Two Men Arrested in Mandi Bahauddin for Abusing Disabled Minor Boy

MANDI BAHAUDDIN: Two men were arrested in Punjab’s Mandi Bahauddin on Sunday for allegedly sexually abusing a disabled minor boy, filming the assault, and uploading the video to social media, police said.

Mandi Bahauddin District Police Officer (DPO) Ahmed Mohiuddin informed that he took immediate notice of the incident after the video went viral. He directed the Malikwal police station to register a case against the suspects and ensure their timely apprehension.

Following the DPO’s instructions, Malikwal Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) GA Hashmi registered a case and arrested both suspects from Mandi Bahauddin’s Chak No. 20 area. “Malakwal police station obtained a three-day physical remand of the arrested suspects from the magistrate’s court,” DPO Mohiuddin said, adding that during interrogation, both suspects confessed to the crime. A mobile phone used to make the videos was recovered from the suspects, he added.

SHO Hashmi added that the victim, who is mute, identified both suspects through hand gestures. He further stated that the suspects lured the victim to a large house in the village where the alleged assault took place.

According to the first information report (FIR) of the incident, the minor boy was “almost 18 years old”. The police registered a case against the suspects upon the complaint of the victim’s grandfather under sections 376 (3) (punishment for rape of a minor or a person with a mental or physical disability), 292 (c) (takes part in or receives profits from […] the sale, etc., of obscene books, etc.), 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

A formal investigation has also been launched into the incident. Despite strict anti-rape laws in Pakistan, which could result in the death penalty or imprisonment lasting from ten to twenty-five years, incidents of sexual assault continue across the country.

Data compiled by the non-governmental organization Sahil shows that 11 children were abused every day in 2023, with mostly acquaintances and relatives involved in the heinous acts. The statistics were reported in ‘Cruel Numbers 2023,’ a signature publication of the NGO working for the welfare of children, launched at the end of February with the support of the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR).

The geographical divide statistics show that out of the total 4,213 reported cases, 75% were reported from Punjab, 13% from Sindh, 7% from Islamabad Capital Territory, 3% from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and 2% from Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

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