There was a petty dispute, over an electricity bill between the landlord and the father of the victim, (Master Tabassum Shahzad, 10 years old, student of class five) one week before. Both parties have adjacent fields. The accused party own 23-25 acres of land, while victim party is poor and owns just 2-3 acre of land
On 21 July 2014, at 10:30 am, the child, Shahzad, went to his family’s fields. The accused, landlord Mr. Ghulam Mustafa, was standing in his fields. The landlord called Shahzad over to the tube well (a peter engine installed in the open). When the child arrived the accused, caught him, over powered him, forcibly tied the hands of child from front side with a scarf, and put both hands in the running belt of a harvesting machine. The boy was stuck to the running belt and both of his arms were crushed, cut, and separated from his body.
Soon after, the perpetrator, Ghulam Mustafa, panicked, picked the unconscious and bleeding boy out of the machine and rushed him by motorbike to a private hospital of Gujrat, Punjab, 8-10 Km away from the town. It took half an hour to get to the hospital. Ghulam Mustafa told the hospital administration that it is just an accident. The boy underwent surgery. Meanwhile the parents, relatives, and other local people arrived with the separated, ruptured limbs, but doctors said the arms cannot be reattached.
When the child regained consciousness after the operation, Ghulam Mustafa came back to the hospital; the child started screaming and told his parents that Mustafa was responsible, but before he could tell more details, he again lost consciousness. Later that night he again narrated the story to the parents.
On the next morning, 22 July, the parents got the child discharged from the private hospital and transferred him to Aziz Bhatti Hospital Gujrat, a public hospital, because the hospital authorities were asking for a huge amount of money and not providing treatment. The Medico legal report was done and the police was informed on the same day. The police were initially reluctant to register the FIR, but later it was done on 24 July.
The hospital staff was not cooperating with the parents and the child was not properly taken care of. Only nurses visited the child. The hospital administration initially was not providing medication; the parents themselves had to provide it. When they asked about the x-ray report, the parents were told that the doctor was on leave, the report would be provided within 3-4 days.
The child’s uncle, Javed Iqal, further explained that when they realized that police and hospital administration were not paying attention, they contacted a media outlet: the ARY TV channel, which immediately aired the news, on afternoon of 24 July. Soon after, the entire govt. machinery became active. The senior medical officers, MS, Dr. Naveed Tahir rushed to the ward, inspected the child, and released the medical report. They started providing all necessary medicine, and the child was transferred to a ward where the electricity is available. However, the nurses did not entertain the request of the family members of the victim to change dressing in the operation theatre and not to change the dressing in front of the parents, which was highly painful to watch.
As the news about the working of Punjab police and its negligence was viewed throughout the country, the high police officers District Police Officer (DPO) Superintendent of Police (SP) and SHO also visited the child and his parents in the hospital. The whole administration has become very soft with the family members of the victim after all the media outlets began criticizing the dysfunctional rule of law in the country and the power that powerful people enjoy.
The Gujrat police, knowing well about the case, took three days to file a case against the perpetrator under section 324, 334 of Pakistan Penal Code, after the case was publicized through media and chief minister took the notice.