The unearthing of the case has fueled public outcry with civil society groups and residents demanding of the provincial government and police to take strict action against the perpetrators.
The gang allegedly used to force children to have sex while being filmed after kidnapping them into their underground cells.
A few days ago, the police arrested the suspect, Aurangzeb, on a tip-off provided by a 13-year-old boy, who was kidnapped by the group in 2014, and was set free recently, Mingora city DSP, Sadiq Akbar, said, adding the police had got a three-day physical remand of Aurangzeb from the judicial magistrate for investigation. The police officer said the suspect would again be produced before the court today (Wednesday).
Police arrest key member of gang; JIT formed to probe the case
Mr Akbar maintained that Aurangzeb was caught while having sex with a boy, 14, saying handcuffs and chains were also recovered from the residence.
He said father of the 14-year-old boy had filed a report of his missing on Sept 28, 2014, adding a case was registered in Mingora police station under section 342 (wrongful confinement), 347 (wrongful confinement to constrain a person to illegal act), 365 (kidnapping), 377 (unnatural offence) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of Pakistan Penal Code.
Meanwhile, the 13-year-old boy told Dawn he was in the bazaar to buy sweets when two men, who he identified as Sajjad and Umar Khaliq, put something on his face and put me in a vehicle. “After sometime when I came to my senses I found myself in a room where Aurangzeb forced me to have sex with him,” the boy said, adding he used to abuse him daily.
The boy claimed that some policemen were also involved in the crime as they would come there and fulfill their lust. “One day a policeman informed Aurangzeb about a possible police raid, on which the two facilitators took me in a vehicle to Barikot and threw me out there,” he added.
On the other hand, a man identified as Sherin Zada, has provided the local journalists with hundreds of photos and videos allegedly filmed while Aurangzeb sexually abusing different boys. Sherin Zada claimed to have got the material from one of his informers. He told journalists that his nephew was also kidnapped by the same gang and was still in their custody.
Surprisingly, the police have also arrested Sherin Zada, who is also the complainant in the case.
The journalists have handed the material to the Swat District Police Officer Saleem Marwat, who on the media persons’ demand, has formed a joint investigation team led by DSP Sadiq Akbar to probe the case.
Meanwhile, Neelam Chattan, a social worker and child rights activist in Swat who leads a campaign ‘peace for new generation’, told Dawn the child abuse cases were on increase in Swat due to police leniency and parents’ carelessness. “All members of the gang must be arrested immediately and be punished strictly,” she said, adding the government must take steps for child protection in the province. D-N
THE PASHTUN TIMES