Wednesday, January 17, 2018
PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector-General of Police Salahuddin Mehsud confirmed on Wednesday that the minor girl found dead in Mardan's Gujar Garhi area was strangled to death, but added that the post-mortem report points towards sexual assault.
“Looks like the culprit’s intention was to sexually assault [the minor],” he told media here while detailing the incident.
The minor’s post-mortem also shows signs of torture, the IG said.
Four-year-old Aasma went missing on January 13 from the Gujjar Garhi area and was found the next day at 3pm after efforts by the police and the family, Mehsud said.
The body was reportedly found in sugarcane fields.
Police joined the search after being informed of the incident at 9pm on January 13, the IG said.
Mardan RPO and DPO subsequently visited Aasma’s family on January 14 to record details about the incident, and an FIR was registered after Aasma’s body was found.
The IG said that an investigation team, headed by DPO Mardan, was formed to probe the case, and help from the counter-terrorism department was also utilised.
IG Mehsud commenting on the progress in the case said that a daily report is being prepared in the case.
Mardan District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar early today alleged that the police are trying their best to conceal the post-mortem report.
Mayar said that according to the post-mortem report it is clear the girl was raped before being strangled to death.
The girl belonged to an unprivileged family and her father works as a labourer in a foreign country, he said, adding “we will ensure justice is dispensed.”
He stressed that the district government will extend all help to the victim's family. "The incident highlights the criminal negligence of the KP government," he said, adding "not a single official of the KP government went to condole the victim's parents and no one took notice of the incident."
"ANP [Awami National Party] will use its democratic right and stage a protest against the government," he added.
However, DPO Mardan Mian Saeed earlier in the day negated the claims and said that the girl was strangled to death, and said the post-mortem report does not point towards rape.
There were torture marks on the body, he added.
Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, while speaking to media in Kasur, remarked that just like seven-year-old Zainab, whose murder and rape sparked national outrage, Aasma is also the “daughter of the nation.”
Criticising his political opponents, Shehbaz remarked that they shed tears for Zainab. “Does Aasma also not deserve these same tears and prayers?”
He also requested all politicians to stop engaging in politics over such incidents. “I request that we shouldn’t incite emotions of the public [over such incidents].”
He added, “the people belong to an oppressed nation. The nation is seeking justice. Justice is being sought for both Zainab and Aasma.”
Before that PM’s adviser Ameer Muqam, while condemning the incident, lashing out at the PML-N's political opponent Imran Khan, saying that this incident shows the ‘brilliant’ performance of Imran's police.
Before this, two innocent girls were killed after rape in the area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak's constituency.
“Imran’s concept of justice changes in different provinces. His consciousness is awakened only in Punjab while he turns a blind eye towards injustice in KP.”
Meanwhile, Reham Khan on Twitter asked why there was pin drop silence on the brutal rape of Asma. "Will the chief justice take notice please?"