Sahiwal police have rescued four girls that went missing from the Hanjarwal area of Lahore six days ago.
SHO of Ghalla Mandi Sahiwal police station, Imdad Khan confirmed to the BBC that the four abducted girls had been rescued and handed over to Lahore police, where further investigation into the case would continue.
DETAILS OF THE ABDUCTION
On July 30, four girls from Nambardaranwala Chowk in Hanjarwal left their house after getting ‘disappointed with the domestic circumstances’. At around midnight, a rickshaw driver dropped the four girls on the main road near the EME Society and no trace of them was found since then.
An official involved in the investigation said that the police had detained the rickshaw driver and a neighbour of the girls for an inquiry as the neighbour was with the girls till 11 pm. However, he later left the girls in Hanjarwal and went home.
Two days after the girls went missing, the girls’ father filed a petition against their alleged abduction at the Hanjarwal police station.
He stated that apart from his two daughters, two of his neighbour’s daughters had left home to travel on the Orange train but never returned. He searched for the girls but could not find them. The father suspected that the girls had been abducted.
After the complaint, various police teams were formed to rescue the girls. According to investigators, they rescued the girls after one of the girls switched on her mobile phone.
SHO Khan told the BBC that according to the initial investigation, the girls were picked up by a rickshaw driver from EME society and when he got to know that the girls had left their house, he provoked them and took them to his house.
According to the SHO, the accused rickshaw driver contacted a friend and the two planned to take the girls to their hometown of Sahiwal for sale at a brothel.
The accused kept the four girls in Lahore for two days, Saturday and Sunday, then took them to Sahiwal in a car.
Imdad Khan further said that Sahiwal police had been conducting raids on brothels for the past several days. On August 2, during a raid, they arrested a person involved in this case who was later released on bail. The police, however, had no information about his involvement in this case.
The person involved left the girls at a deserted place immediately after being released on bail, fearing that the police might have reached their area in search of these girls.
The suspects kept the four girls in the Farid Town area of Sahiwal while their wives assisted them there.
“We received a call on the ’15’ informing us of four minor girls,” SHO said. We immediately rushed to the spot and took the girls into our custody and then later as a result of talking to them, we found out that these girls have reached here from Lahore and Lahore police were also looking for them.”
All the accused, including two women, are now in police custody and an investigation is underway.
Responding to a question, SHO said that Lahore police had registered a case under section 363 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which could carry the death penalty.
The SHO claimed that the conversations with the girls made it clear that none of them had been sexually assaulted in any way, but Lahore police will still conduct medical tests to meet legal requirements.
The police officer said that the girls have refused to return to their homes due to fear. After their statement in the court, it will be decided whether they will be sent to their homes or a Darulaman.
Mohammad Qamar, the investigating officer in the case, said that not all the cameras of Safe City were fully operational in the area around Multan Road where the metro train track had passed, which made it difficult for them to find the girls.