Lahore, Feb 14 (PTI) A Pakistani anti-terrorism court here has handed down life imprisonment to three suspects for their involvement in the Kasur child abuse scandal of 2015 in which around 300 children were molested.

The anti-terrorism court announced the conviction after the suspects were found guilty of sexually abusing the minors and were imposed fine of Rs300,000 each on Haseem Amir, Waseem Sindhi and Aleem Arif.

The Kasur child sexual abuse scandal is a series of child sexual abuses that occurred in Hussain Khanwala village in the Punjab from 2006 to 2014, culminating in a major scandal in 2015.

The child abuse scandal surfaced in Kasur, some 50 km from Lahore, in 2015 in which police registered cases against 25 suspects on charges of abducting and sexually assaulting around 300 children.

After the discovery of hundreds of video clips showing children performing forced sex acts, various Pakistani media organisations estimated that 280 to 300 children, most of them male, were victims of sexual abuse.

It was alleged that the scandal involved an organised crime ring that sold child pornography to porn sites, and blackmailed and extorted victims and their relatives.

The scandal caused nationwide outrage. It was alleged that the ruling PML-N’s influential people were involved in the cover-up of the abuse. Police had registered nine cases against over a dozen suspects had acquitted.

Lawyers of the suspects stated that police had implicated their clients in cases on government pressure. The suspects had no role in the child abuse incidents. They had already been convicted in some of the first information reports (FIRs) and acquitted in some others by a trial court.

Kasur is the same city where seven-year-old girl was brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer who is arrested and is facing trial.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.