26 September 2022
By Ahmed Saeed
LAHORE: Seventeen-year-old Qurban* points towards his school uniform that has been hanging in his closet untouched for three weeks. It has been that long since he stopped going to school for fear of being bullied.
The boy is clearly traumatized after he was sexually abused and filmed and the videos were made public on social media. Eventually, the police launched an investigation into the horrific abuse.
Qurban belongs to a Christian family and is a resident of Pakpattan of the historical town of Malka Hans, where the famous Punjabi poet Waris Shah wrote his epic masterpiece “Heer”, in 1766.
But this time the small town’s claim to fame is nothing so literary or romantic, rather it came into the media glare for its sordid tale of sexual abuse of more than one teenage boy by a local gang. After the sexual abuse, the gang also filmed the assaults in the basement of a local dispensary. The gang had blackmailed Qurban by threatening him to leak videos of the sexual assaults.
In the videos that Qurban’s family shared with Voicepk.net, several suspects can be seen sexually assaulting teenage boys in the basement of the private medical clinic located in the town.
The videos also show the alleged abusers taking drugs and holding weapons to show their prowess over their hapless victims.
The sexual abuse of young boys had been going on for several months. Qurban’s mother fears that the physical and mental trauma of the sexual assault has begun to take a toll on her son’s health.
Weeks ago, she became aware of the sexual abuse when the gang members tried to coerce Qurban while he was accompanying her to buy some medicine in the town market.
After knowing of the sexual assault, Qurban’s father spoke to other residents who told him about other videos in circulation in which a gang was seen sexually assaulting boys including his son. According to Qurban’s father, a gang comprising six members was involved in the sexual exploitation of his son.
The local police have registered a rape case under Section 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code and arrested the main accused Asad while four others nominated in the case are on interim bail.
But Qurban’s father is not satisfied with the progress of the police investigation into his son’s sexual assault case. According to him, the police sent Asad to jail on judicial remand before the investigation was completed.
According to residents, the main accused, Asad alias Saki, had been arrested earlier too in a similar case but police declared him innocent in the investigation. Voicepk.net tried to reach out to the accused nominated in the case but their houses were found locked.
In a ghastly raid though, police say that they have found around 32 videos from Asad’s cell phone, including videos of boys other than Qurban yet, no family is willing to lodge a complaint.
SHO Abid Mahar says that the mobile phone has been sent to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency for a forensic audit, while the rest of the accused will be arrested after the bail period expires.
However, the police have neither recovered the weapon shown in the videos found on Asad’s cell phone nor is it investigating the case from the perspective of child pornography.
Meanwhile, Qurban says he wants to continue his studies but is still scared because the accused are still threatening him despite all the torment and trauma he has gone through.
It seems that the uniform will continue to hang in his closet for a long time.