Father of 5-year-old kidnapped, murdered for ransom has lost trust in blood relations

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Zubair Qureshi

Mukhtar Rathore, father of Muhammad Umer Rathore, the 5-year-old kid kidnapped and murdered for ransom in Dhok Jillani, Bhara Kahu observed fasting for three days Dec 22-24 praying to God his son would be rescued safely.
However, his fasting ended into the worst nightmare of his life that any parent can imagine when on Tuesday he was handed over Umer’s dead body. After finding out that his first cousin’s son was involved in kidnapping and murder of his son, Mukhtar Rathore has lost faith in blood relations and wonders how come a 21-year old nephew could do this to him.
According to Bhara Kahu police, Umer’s hands and legs were tied and sticking tape was wrapped around his face that choked the child to death.
“His kidnappers had bundled the boy in a cupboard where he died,” said the investigation officer of the case.
While talking to Pakistan Observer here on Wednesday, Gohar Shafique Rathore a cousin of Umer Rathore said Umer was a darling of the street and everyone in the neighbourhood area adored him.
While remembering the child who was picked on Saturday and killed for ransom and his body was recovered from a house on Tuesday, Gohar, 31, said Umer was the youngest of six, three sisters and three brothers and was a student of pre-nursery at Islamabad’s OPF school in Sector F-8/3.
Each day Umer used to sit at a raised stone outside his house near the entrance door after playing in the street and waited for his father Mukhtar Rathore who is an employee at the Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL).
On the day of his kidnapping, Umer was sitting at the same place on the raised pedestal when a close family relative took him away in a car.
According to Aurangzeb, maternal grandfather, Umer never trusted strangers and when he disappeared at around 4.30 p.m. on Saturday, no one noticed however when the night fell, everyone got worried. The entire neighbourhood started search for the child and local police was also involved.
Police started a combing operation in the green belts and nullahs as Bhara Kahu area is a hilly terrain and there are several ditches, nullah and green belts close by.
However, by 8.30 the same day, Umer’s father declared it was not a case of the child having gone missing, he was kidnapped.
The matter was already taken up by police and a case was then registered on the complaint of Umer’s father and separate teams were constituted. They carried out a door-to-door search. Sniffer dogs were also used to trace the whereabouts of the boy but without success.