Local police claim to have arrested a serial rapist involved in kidnapping and raping over a dozen minor children in the district.
Police officials have caught Hassan Noorani, 45, who has been involved in over 27 cases of abducting and raping children in the past twenty years. Police officials said that they had been searching for Noorani for decades and that his name had been listed on several watch lists. Samanabad Police SHO Yasir Jatt said that they had caught Noorani after receiving a tip-off. “He admitted to molesting over 25 children. He ended up telling us he didn’t even remember how many children had assaulted in total,” he said.
The arrested person has been sent to jail after a preliminary interrogation. Police officials claimed that the accused confessed to the crimes and was willing to reveal details of the cases that he still remembered. “Nearly all the victims are below the age of ten,” Jatt said.
The accused, Noorani is a resident of Street No23, Nisar Colony Faisalabad and was first booked in the kidnapping and rape case involving a four-year-old girl, Sana, in Faisalabad in 1986. “The police had identified him at the time but he managed to escape from prison,” Inspector Farhat Qudoos said.
Police officials said that Noorani was caught five years ago, after he kidnapped a seven-year-old boy in Samanabad. “He was sent to jail but was released on bail a year ago,” said Qudoos. “We cannot trace exactly how many child rape cases he has been involved in but we will make sure that he doesn’t receive bail this time,” he said.
Police officials said that they had received several reports of kidnapped children over the past two months and that the police was searching for the accused for several months. SHO Jatt said that police had been searching for Noorani for several months and ultimately found him in an abandoned house with a kidnapping victim, Aleena, 8, a week ago.
During the interrogation, Noorani candidly admitted to kidnapping seven children in the past two months. “He said that he often took them to graveyards or warehouses because the places were remote and the children’s screams couldn’t be heard,” Jatt said.
The SHO said the accused had confessed his crime before the police and was presented before the area magistrate. The court ordered to send him to jail on judicial remand. However, Samanabad police registered seven cases of abduction and rape against Noorani in 24 hours despite the fact that kidnapping incidents of had been on the rise for several months.
The cases has been registered in FIRs Nos. 66/11, 67/11, 68/11, 69/11, 70/11, 71/11, 72/11, under sections 363, 367A, on charges of kidnapping, kidnapping in order to subject to grievous hurt, slavery etc, rape and sodomy.
Baraf Chowk Samanabad resident Haroon Ahmed said told that his ten-year-old daughter Maryam was kidnapped on April 20 this year. “I approached the police to register case but they refused to do so until several other people filed similar complaints,” he said. “My daughter has identified the rapist and police have finally arrested him,” he added. Nisar Colony resident Muhammad Yousif said that his daughter, Fiza Yousif, 9, was returning home from school when she was kidnapped by the accused on May 12 and raped at a nearby graveyard. Samanabad resident Zahid Mahmood said his nephew Talhas Rehman, 7, disappeared on May 11, when he was playing in the street. The child was later found outside a cow shed and had been raped.
Senior Advocate Mian Muhammad Nasir suspected that the police had tampered with the case. “We are all eager to catch this serial rapist and there has been a lot of pressure on the police because people have been protesting. There have been seven cases in two months and several before that,
Nasir said. “It is suspicious that seven cases have been registered against Noorani after he was arrested. It seems like they are trying to peg him with all the crimes to avoid going after the real killer,” he said.
“Registration of seven cases in one day has already weakened the prosecution’s case against the accused and now he will again be in a position to seek relief from the court”, senior criminal lawyer, Raha Zafar Ahmad Khan said. “This man is guilty of raping a child but whether he is responsible for all the charges being levelled against him remains to be seen,” he added.
A police source at the Samanabad Police Station said the police had feared a mob uprising against them if the man was released.