Police in Pakistan are being accused of covering up and helping the perpetrators in what many believe is the county's biggest child abuse scandal.
The shocking event that has emerged from the heart of the Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's ruling party Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) stronghold, Punjab, is being played down for political reasons, according to new allegations.
Latif Ahmed Sara, the lawyer and activist who is representing the victims told AFP News: "The police are protecting the criminals, they are supporting them and have provided them an opportunity to escape the village."
Following the accusations, police arrested five more people on 10 August taking the toll to 12 total suspects presently held in custody over the scandal.
Some 25 men were reportedly involved in the child abuse ring where nearly 280 children were forced to perform acts that were videotaped and later used to blackmail the children's families.
While the chief minister of the province, Shahbaz Sharif, had called for an independent inquiry, the Lahore High Court declined the request.
"The judicial inquiry is required where facts are hidden, in this case police are already investigating and some of the accused have already been arrested," said court spokesman Arif Javed, reported Yahoo News.
Meanwhile, an earlier inquiry by the provincial government had deemed the entire incident as "baseless" alleging it was a means of manipulation by villagers over some land dispute.