Police were told that five of the bodies had been buried at the graveyard in the last three days. PHOTO: FILE
Three of these were bodies of newborns, Bhowana police told The Express Tribune.
Bhowana police said they were informed about the missing bodies by family of one of the deceased, whose body had gone missing.
On arriving at the scene, the police were told that five of the bodies had been buried at the graveyard in the last three days. They said Muhammad Jamil, a relative of one of the deceased, who went to offer fateha at the grave, reported it had been dug and the corpse was missing.
He said he had followed the trail which the body appeared to have been dragged along and found some hair and parts of a torn shroud some feet away from the grave.
He rushed to a nearby market and informed some people there and the word soon spread across the area. He said some people came running to look at the graves of their relatives to ascertain whether or not they were among those missing.
Police later discovered that bodies of five children and a woman were missing.
They later filled in the excavated graves and requested the residents to keep an eye on who visited the graveyards.
Assistant Commissioner Khalil Ahmad Kamboh called a meeting of tehsil administration officers, civil society representatives, Anjuman Tajran, police and Health Department officials.
A police official, who attended the meeting, said it was decided that a wall will be build around the graveyard and streetlights will examined and more installed to improve visibility after sunset.
The AC also directed the tehsil municipal officers to launch an operation against stray dogs. He asked the residents to cooperate with the police and inform them about suspicious people or activities in or around the graveyard. He also suggested that a watchman be hired for the graveyard.
Some residents said they feared the bodies were dug out for their use in black magic. Naseer Ali, a resident of the area, said he had heard about some quacks using human remains in medicines.
Bhowana Station House Officer Muhammad Afzal, however, said it was unlikely that the bodies had been dug out by black magic practitioners or quacks.
“The bodies have likely been dug up by wild animals,” he said.
He said it was the first time such an incident was reported in the area.
“What ever the case, this matter will be looked into properly,” he said.
He said a picket had been set up near the graveyard. The construction of a boundary wall would begin in a day or two, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2012.