LAHORE - The local MPA, Malik Ahmad Saeed came to know of the child abuse incident in his constituency in June this year despite the fact that the dirty business was continuing there unabated since 2009.

Hussain Khanwala village currently the focus of local and international media for the largest ever child abuse scam, falls in his constituency.

The Nation contacted the local MPA to have his account of the story and the first-hand information he had about the shameful episode.

Investigation by The Nation has revealed that the culprits started victimizing the children in 2009 which continued till parents took the courage to raise their voice on July 9 this year by holding a protest demonstration.

Malik Saeed said that the local police had the information about the happening since May this year. But since no one dared to get a case registered against the accused, the matter was hushed up for the time being.

He said he came to know of the incident in June this year through a local contact and offered his support to the victim families. “But they were not willing to lodge an FIR at that time because of the shame involved in such matters”, he said.

Saeed denied the allegation that he patronised one of the culprits involved in the child abuse . He challenged that he was ready to face any punishment if his alleged connections with any of the culprits was proved.

He said that he got 50 per cent of the total votes cast in this village in the last elections while the rest went to his political opponents. “As other parties also have their supporters in the area, they are levelling such allegations to settle political scores”, he alleged.

Sharing some information about the culprits, he said that one of the them, Aleem Asif, was a graduate from a local college while the ring leader of the gang, Haseem Amir pursued his educational career up to the Intermediate level.

The lawmaker believed that the two culprits did not possess the educational degrees at the time of committing this crime. They might have acquired this qualification recently, he added.

Malik further informed that all but one culprit nominated in the FIR belonged to families of small landlords of the area. He also insisted that families of the victims also enjoyed an almost equal status as that of the culprits though the video clips show they belonged to poor families.

Saeed was of the view that the land dispute over auction of irrigation land in the area should not be clubbed with the child molestation case. “This gruesome act can not be justified in any circumstances”, he stated.

Giving more details of the episode, Saeed said that the first public protest in the area took place on 9th of July (last month) but the police remained unmoved. “No arrest was made by the police immediately after the first protest”, he confirmed.

Malik informed that people took to the streets for the second time on August 4 (last week) which caught attention of the media.

Asked about the timings of first arrest made in this regard, Malik said that he was not sure about the precise date but in the police record it was made either on August 1 or 2.

He said that according to his information, police took some culprits into custody most probably in the last week of July without making any entry into the official record.

He claimed that majority of the residents of Hussain Khanwala village were literate. “There is a high school for boys just one kilometer away from the village and one high School for girls within the village for a population of around 6,000 people”, he substantiated his point.