The government should proclaim employment of child helps and domestic violence against children a cognizable criminal offence in view of the gravity and frequency of incidents of their maltreatment reported in recent years.
At least two cases of brutal torture on children were reported in the provincial capital during the past week.
On Sunday, a boy and his sister employed in a house were rescued from a private housing society after severe torture by a couple.
The victims Muhammad Mohsin, 14, and Iram Fayyaz, 12, residents of Muzaffargarh, were employed by Shahid Junaid Malik and his wife in Military Accounts Society.
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The suspects reportedly subjected the children to torture over minor issues, following which a neighbour frustrated over their ill treatment and their cries for help informed the police.
A police team reached the spot and rescued the victims.
Mohsin told police that they had been brought from a remote area of South Punjab. “Our home is away even from Multan,” he innocently explained. He said that his employers brutally tortured the siblings over minor issues.
The victims also showed marks of lashes, cuts and burn injuries on their bodies. The boy had old injuries that had worsened because of lack of treatment, while the head of his sister had been shaved by the suspects.
Two days earlier, a man was arrested for torturing, starving and keeping illegally confined his son at Thokar Niaz Beg. The victim, Abdullah, was living with his father and stepmother in a housing society. His mother had died a few years back.
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His stepmother had locked him in the house after tying him up with ropes and gone to Karachi. His father also treated him inhumanely. The boy was starving in the absence of his parents when a neighbour spotted him and came to his help. He recorded a video of the boy and fed him.
In the video, the victim could be seen expressing his fears about sharing the details of his ordeal. “My mother will return tomorrow. Will you save me?” he asked.
Reporting of such extreme cases appears to have become routine in the provincial capital. A few weeks back, two videos had surfaced in Shahdara and Samanabad of brutal torture on minor children by motor mechanics who had employed them.
In March, a horrifying incident of torture on a child domestic help in Wahdat Colony at the home of a public servant was reported. The suspect had blackmailed and intimidated the minor girl and subjected her to torture.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2021.