LAHORE: A man was arrested on Monday on suspicion of cannibalism when the head of a newborn baby was found at his home — three years after he was jailed for the same offence.
Police raided the house in a remote village in Punjab province after neighbours complained of a foul smell and found the head of the two-day-old baby inside.
Householder Mohammad Arif admitted eating the child after his brother stole the body from a graveyard in Darya Khan village, around 300 kilometres south of Islamabad, officers said.
Arif and his brother Farman Ali were arrested for eating human corpses in the same village in April 2011 and served two years in prison, in a case that shocked Pakistan. “Arif has been arrested and he has confessed that his brother brought the dead body of the newborn from the nearby graveyard,” Ameer Abdullah, police chief of Bhakkar district where the village is located, told AFP. “Arif told police that both of them later cooked the dead body and ate it.” There is no specific law against cannibalism in Pakistan’s penal code, so as in the 2011 case Arif has been charged with desecrating a dead body and public order offences.
In the earlier case police found the body of a 24-year-old woman who had recently died of cancer at the men’s house — minus a leg, which they had eaten.
A hunt is under way to find Ali, Abdullah said, while Arif will undergo psychiatric tests.
Zafar Iqbal, a police official in Darya Khan police station, where Arif is being held, told AFP that the men’s wives and family members had left them some years ago and both were living in the house in isolation. “The neighbours complained to police of a foul stench and police raided the house immediately. We arrested him after discovering a head of a baby. Arif has admitted his crime,” Iqbal said.
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