The government in Pakistani province of Punjab on Sunday ordered a judicial inquiry into a horrific incident of child abuse and allegations of extortion involving over 200 victims.
According to reports, as many as 280 children, mostly aged under 14, were frequently sexually abused by a gang of 25 people, who blackmailed their parents by threatening to leak these videos.
Latif Ahmed Sara, a representative for the victims’ families, said that would be forced to perform sex acts on each other in the more than 400 videos made in Hussain Khanwala village near Lahore.
He said, “Around 300 videos of the kids have been leaked and every second child in this village is a victim.”
Chief Minister of Pakistan’s Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, brother of Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, ordered an independent judicial probe into the case on Sunday.
A statement from the chief minister’s office said, “The chief minister (of) Punjab has ordered a judicial inquiry into (the) incident, those involved in the case will be punished and the affected families will be provided with justice at any cost.”
Reports suggest that Sharif has instructed his home ministry to approach the chief justice of Lahore court to form a judicial commission, which should investigate this case.
What many would find simply astonishing is that a police inquiry ordered by the provincial government last week had found these allegations baseless.
A child victim told BBC Urdu that he was sexually abused at the age of 11, when the members of this gang kidnapped him from his house to an unknown location. Once in their custody, the child says that he was sexually abused by four criminals, who also video taped the whole incident.
Another victim’s mother said that when her child was abused, he was studying in class V. he said that she reported the matter to police as soon as she came to know about this abuse two months ago, but the gang members began to threaten her with dire consequences if she didn’t withdraw her complaint.
Local police said that it had already arrested seven accused, five of whom have now managed to get out on bail adding that these alleged criminal were sexually abusing the children since 2009.
These blackmailers used the videos of children to extort money from their parents.