KARACHI: Police said Tuesday two arrested suspects have admitted to sexually assaulting and killing a six-year-old girl, whose burnt body was later recovered from a garbage dump in the city's Esa Nagri locality, in a case that has caused an uproar on social media.
At least 11 suspects were detained in the case of the six-year-old's rape and murder more than a week ago after rescue officials had recovered the child's body — stuffed in a bori (gunny bag) — on September 6 evening.
The administrative judge of the anti-terrorism courts was informed that the two had admitted to the heinous crime, police said, and that the DNA test report of a third suspect — who claimed innocence — was still awaited.
The judge consequently sent all three suspects — identified as Faiz (alias Faizu), Abdullah, and Nawaz — into police custody on physical remand until September 26, and ordered the investigating officer (IO), Inspector Qurban Abbasi, to submit a progress report.
The six-year-old girl was reported missing on Sept 4 after she went to purchase sweets from a neighbourhood shop in the Old Sabzi Mandi area in the morning. Her body was recovered, stuffed in a bag at a dumping yard on the Milk Plant plot in the neighbourhood, two days later.
Inspector Abbasi said police had collected the pieces of cloth with which the victim’s body was tied up. The evidence collected was discussed with the local shopkeepers and street vendors, following which a tailor identified the cloth, saying he had given it to his employee, Faiz.
Habitual offender, lived nearby
During the suspect's pre-screening, police found that he was a habitual offender and lived alone a few houses away from the child's residence in the same street. Faiz revealed the name of his accomplice, Abdullah, who lived on a footpath in the area, after he was taken into custody.
According to the IO, the suspect informed police that they had kidnapped the minor girl and brought her to his house, before raping her one by one, during which she died. They then covered her body with pieces of cloth, put her in a garbage trolley, and dumped it at the plot, Abbasi said.
Once Faiz’s statement was recorded, police detained Abdullah, who also admitted to the crime.
The court granted the IO's request to keep the suspects for eight more days in order to conduct the DNA tests and compile fingerprint reports and criminal records.
A first information report (FIR) was registered at the PIB Colony police station under Sections 364-A (kidnap of a person under 14), 302 (premeditated murder), 376 (rape), 201 (disappearing evidence or giving false information), and 34 (common intention), alongside Section 7 (punishment) of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Something heavy used to kill her
Earlier, the medico-legal officer (MLO) at Karachi's Jinnah Hospital, Dr Zakia Khursheed, had confirmed that the girl had been raped before her death.
Something heavy was used to strike her on the head to kill her, Dr Khursheed had said, adding that samples from the deceased's body were obtained for further investigation and tests.
Residents of the area had earlier said the condition of the child's body suggested she was severely burnt. Authorities had said her father submitted a missing persons report at the PIB police station.
Speaking to Geo News, her father had said his daughter went missing a day earlier and that he had informed the PIB police station about it. "Residents of the area told me that my daughter's body had been found," he had said.
—Additional reporting by Zubair Ashraf in Karachi