PakistanWomen & Children

Abduction of Children in Punjab

In Punjab, an average of forty cases of kidnapping are recorded, yet, investigations into more than half of these cases are never conducted.

There were 12,230 incidents of kidnapping registered in Punjab in 2020 alone, and the situation is unknown for the following two years due to the response that has been faced. According to the available data, one out of every four instances of a crime committed against a person in Punjab involves some kidnapping or abduction. Crimes against people and property make up the bulk of the court’s docket. Robbery, dacoity, theft, motorcycle theft, and vehicle theft are all examples of property crimes, whereas murder, assault, sexual assault, and abduction are violent crimes against people.

There were a total of 46,441 instances of crimes against individuals documented over the time frame, with around 26% being kidnapping and abduction. However, a pattern of registering fake instances emerged. At least 55% of all kidnapping and abduction cases, or 6,714 out of 12,230, were canceled for different reasons.

A senior police officer stated that the Punjab Police have been under intense pressure to investigate and solve incidents of child abuse for many years. He mentioned how the police were criticized after the Kasur child pornography case, the Zainab murder case, and the Chunian serial killing case.

An officer said that spreading false information had worsened the situation. The internet was ablaze with rumors of an abduction ring harvesting organs for transplant. After further examination, it was discovered that the reports and photos circulating the internet about discovering corpses in Lahore that were missing vital organs were completely fabricated.

The officer said that any missing child report was treated as an abduction case. Children who had fled their homes because they were unhappy there were eventually allowed to return, and their cases were dismissed. When a girl elopes before her court wedding, he said, her parents often file an abduction report with the police. A later recorded testimony from the child in court confirmed that she had run away from home alone, ending the case.

The officer gave the example of Muhammad Umar, 17, who was kidnapped and whose complaint was filed at the Akbari Gate police station. The child came home from working at a hotel in Jhang and stated he had gone because he was fed up with his parents.

A while ago, a 12-year-old girl who disappeared in Nawan Kot while visiting a local market was found safe and well. A 17-year-old girl from the North Cantonment neighborhood ran away with a man named Ali Raza last month. Nonetheless, an abduction report was filed. She left the party and went home after that. But the Punjab Police said that just 46 of the 2,901 cases they had reported were still unsolved.

However, this does not lessen the threat of an unsafe environment that has risen for children over the years. Parents need to keep a watchful eye on their children’s lives and the people around them to ensure their safety.

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