A pair of brothers have been arrested in an eerie case involving over 30 missing corpses and black magic. In the second case involving the theft of bodies to surface in less than a month, the cadavers, mostly of children, were reported missing from the 16-acre Ghulam Mohammad Jhokio graveyard on the Super Highway in Gulshan-e-Maymar police limits.
A watchman of one of the neighbouring government schools, Haji Mohammad, reported the gruesome discovery on the first day of Eidul Azha. He was visiting his mother’s grave when he found the graves dug up and the bodies missing. “When the first few caught my eye I did not think much of it because old graves sometimes become like that,” he said. “When I moved on and every second grave looked like that, I figured something was wrong and I called the residents.”
Later, residents staged a protest and accused the administration of negligence. After investigating, police arrested two men, Chaitan, 42, and Sachin, 35, for allegedly stealing bodies or remains. The authorities claim they would sell these bodies and bones to people who practice black magic.
The brothers from Gadap Town’s Ghulab Goth would be brought before the media after their court appearance today (Thursday).
Police fear the two may have excavated more bodies from other graveyards across the city and that more people may be involved. Gadap Town has about 20 other small graveyards and police are raiding the area for more suspects. They are currently looking for a witch doctor who they believe is involved as well.
According to DSP Mukhtiar Khaskheli, they have been dealing with taveez ganday (talismans) for the last 15 years but took up black magic six to eight years ago. “For now the case has been filed under the molestation section, more sections will be added as more evidence is unearthed in the investigation,” the DSP explained.
The Ghulam Mohammad Jhokio graveyard is over 60 years old and belongs to the Jhokio community. The literacy rate in the goth is low, and a majority of residents are labourers or farmers. Residents said that most of the graves that were dug up were new.
“We poor folk cannot even take out time for the living, let alone for the dead,” lamented Riaz, whose son’s body was among those missing. “We go once every few years. We would not have found out even now if someone had not told [us].”
Less than 24 hours after the news surfaced from Gadap Town, some television channels reported that a similar incident had occurred in PIB Colony. The reports claimed that over 35 bodies, the majority of them recently buried, had disappeared from the Pir Shah Bukhari graveyard near old Sabzi Mandi. People noticed a putrid stench coming from the graveyard and got suspicious and found that the bodies were missing.
However, District East SSP Javed Odho assured The Express Tribune that this report of graves being desecrated was not true. He explained that the graves were damaged when water from a nearby nullah seeped into the graveyard. “Since news of bodies being stolen is being flashed all over the broadcast media, people assumed the same thing was happening here when they saw a few graves damaged.” he said. “There is no criminal act involved and the police has no evidence or complaints. We cannot file an FIR on a fake news story.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2011.