The body an 8-year-old boy who had gone missing from a religious seminary near his home was found in Kalat, Balochistan, with evidence that sexual assault and torture had taken place prior to the killing, a local news outlet reported on Tuesday.
According to Zahoor Ahmed, a relative of the child, the young boy had gone missing on 4:30 pm on Monday. The police and family had searched through the night, but the boy was not found. Then, this morning, his body was discovered on a hill. It was taken to Quetta for an autopsy.
The police surgeon said that the boy’s skull had been fractured from blunt force trauma, likely from a stone, and that evidence suggested he had been sexually assaulted by more than one person. Samples from the examination are being sent to Lahore, and results would be available in a week’s time.
Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani condemned the incident, saying that he was “concerned at the increase in incidents of sexual violence”.
So far, nine suspects have been arrested. According to a Ministry of Human Rights spokesperson, this is the 40th case of child abuse reported from the province.
In August, a report by the NGO Sahil had revealed that as many as 1,489 children, at least eight per day, were sexually abused in the first half of the ongoing year in the country. The victims included 785 girls and 704 boys.