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Alleged djinn murder case at standstill

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: The ongoing operation against terrorists provided police an opportunity to brush the case of a child’s murder allegedly by a djinn under the carpet in Diamer, Gilgit-Baltistan.

“We are too busy to continue our investigation into that case,” a senior administration official told The Express Tribune on Sunday, referring to an operation launched by Pakistan Army and local police in Darel and Tangir valleys of Diamer. According to the official, operations are being carried out to recover two officials abducted by armed men in November.

Four-year-old Ahmad’s mutilated body was found dumped in a forest in Chilas in the first week of October. The boy had gone missing or “disappeared” when he accompanied his mother to fetch water at least two weeks earlier from Somal village.

The family did not register a case. They did not even hand the body over for a post-mortem as a Rawalpindi-based exorcist announced the boy was killed by “supernatural forces”.

Sans checks and balances

The police did not question or investigate the incident. They took the spiritual healer at face value. But as the issue received much media attention, the police finally exhumed the child’s body. Specimens from the body were thereafter sent to a forensic laboratory in Lahore for an autopsy. Credible sources at the laboratory confirmed dispatching the report to G-B on October 16.

But authorities in G-B deny receiving any forensic report. “We haven’t received the report yet,” said Dr Essa Khan, the medical superintendent at a government hospital in Chilas.”

While speaking to The Express Tribune last week, G-B police chief Zafar Awan also denied receiving any reports.

“It usually takes time to obtain results since such laboratories are usually very busy,” said Awan.

The denial is said to be an attempt to avoid action against the suspects who belong to a powerful tribe of Diamer.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th,  2015.

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