Increase font size Decrease font size Reset font size

Protesters demand arrest of Havelian child abuse suspect

ISLAMABAD: Human rights activists and people from civil society on Thursday staged a protest outside the National Press Club (NPC) against the assault and murder of a three-year-old girl in Havelian.

The girl went missing on Dec 25 while playing outside her house. Police found her body from a jungle and shifted it to a local hospital for postmortem which confirmed that she was sexually abused.

Though KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has taken notice of the incident, so far the culprit could not be arrested.

Rights activists, who gathered on the call of a coalition of non-governmental organisations `Child Rights Movement (CRM)`, also marched towards F-6 Markaz to create awareness among the citizens and get attention of the law enforcement agencies and decision makers about the increasing incidents of abuse cases.

Earlier at a press conference held at the NPC, Executive Director Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child Sajjad Ali Cheema said the rape and murder of the minor girl had once again led to grief and anger among members of the civil society.

He said the state was primarily responsible for protecting children through proper implementation of national laws.

Spokesperson for Sahil, Mumtaz Gohar, said on an average 11 children in Pakistan were reportedly sexually abused each day.

Executive Director Sustainable Social Development Organisation Syed Kausar Abbas said: `Civil society calls upon the government to strictly implement the existing laws on child sexual abuse and also legislate to remove lacunas in the existing laws.

The government has already made a national action plan to counter such issues at the local level. The Vigilance Committees Act 2016 was formulated but it has not been implemented as yet.

These vigilance committees and the local councils can be helpful in identifying the culprits, he said. He said the interior ministry and the Prime Minister Office should immediately take steps to develop a strategy to counter child sexual abuse cases.

Rights activist Sabeen Gil said the police should expedite investigation and evidence collection in such cases. Ikram Junaidi