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Saturday Oct 14 2017

School bus conductors arrested for torturing special children in Lahore

LAHORE: Two school bus conductors arrested Friday for subjecting children with disabilities to brutal torture will appear before the court after investigation launched against them is completed.

According to the police, the two main culprits were arrested and FIRs were registered against them. A police official said the accused have been booked under sections on child protection and threatening.

He added they would also find out if more children have been subjected to torture by the accused.   

In a video of the incident, shot from inside the bus and obtained from social media, the accused — identified as Hafiz Usman and Akram — can be seen physically abusing a 12-year-old child and threatening another older child with a beating when he resisted leaving his seat on the school bus.

Both the victims, as well as their colleagues, are students at Gung Mahal School for the Deaf & Dumb – a government institution located in Lahore's Gulberg locale.

The child, 12, is forced to dangle from the bus' passenger support bar reportedly for some insignificant mischief, causing him to scream in fear, while Hafiz Usman stands beside, laughing at the victim's agony.

As the cries for help continue, Hafiz Usman can be observed inserting his finger into the child's mouth to make him gag and stop making a racket.

In another shot, Hafiz Usman suspends the child upside down and chortles at his terrorised face.

Screengrabs from the video show Hafiz Usman physically abusing a 12-year-old disabled child in Lahore, Pakistan, October 13, 2017. Muhammad Abid

Towards the end of the video clip, Akram comes into the frame and can be seen threatening another child — who had resisted leaving his seat in the bus and via hand gestures, promised to tell his parents about the incident — by saying he would beat him up if the child complained.

In trying to intimidate the obviously distressed child, Akram slaps him across the face.

"What are you going to tell your father?" the angry conductor exclaims as he manhandles the brother of the kid who was struck in the face.

The incident of torture came to the school principal's attention, whereafter both bus conductors were suspended from duty.

Police arrived at the scene to take the suspects into custody. According to an investigative officer overlooking the case, a medical report on the incident has been prepared which, along with all other evidences, would be presented before the judges.

Police further said they would make sure the perpetrators of such inhumane activities are punished in accordance with the law.

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