Syed Nadeem Mashwani

NOWSHERA: The year 2020 ended in Nowshera with some bad memories as crime ratio remained high, and particularly the incidents of sexual abuse remained a nuisance for law enforcement agencies and society at large.

According to sources in Nowshera Police, 29 children were sexually assaulted in Nowshera during 2020, including seven girls and 22 boys. Five cases related to kidnap for ransom were also reported, while 152 people, including 45 women, were murdered.

The sources said most of the accused involved in cases about sexual abuse of women and children were arrested, but few of them got punishment.

Narcotics business also remained fully active as police recovered 1,747kg hashish, 157kg opium, 37kg heroin, 11kg ice drug (crystal meth) and 190 bottles of liquor. The seized drugs were set on fire by police and accused were arrested.

During the last year, the district police also recovered non-custom paid vehicles worth tens of millions of rupees, smuggled tires, clothes, mobile phones, and 122 Kalashnikovs, 15 kalakovs, three hand grenades, 1,749 pistols and 156 rifles. Those keeping illegal arms and smuggling goods were arrested.

According to media reports, 184 cases of sexual abuse of children were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa till October 2020 and four of them were murdered after abuse.

Kohat, Mardan, Nowshera and Mansehra are the districts where one each incident of murder of children after the rape was reported till October 2020.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sanaullah Abbasi was quoted as saying that 235 accused involved in rape and murder of the children were arrested. He said the incidents of sexual assaults on children decreased during 2020.

The police chief had said no case of sexual assault was reported from Battagram, Upper and Lower Kohistan, Hangu and Tank districts in 2020.

Due to increased awareness level in society about safety of children and exposing the culprits, the reporting of cases of sexual abuse to the police has increased in KP. Previously, most cases of sexual abuse of children in KP remained unreported due to cultural and other restraints. Although this phenomena of non-reporting still continues in some conservative areas, but the reporting ratio has increased visibly. Rights activists believe that the abuse cases are still much higher than the officially registered cases.