Two cannibal brothers in Pakistan are alleged to have stolen 100 bodies from grave sites and eaten parts of them, forcing the government to change the law and introduce a bill that would make the practice illegal. Currently, there is no law in the country against the consumption of human flesh.
The British Daily Mail newspaper reported on the brothers, who live in Punjab Province and were taken into custody in April, following the discovery of a boy’s head at the home of one of the two men. Although it is not illegal to be a cannibal in Pakistan, it is hardly an accepted practice and the brothers were already both previously convicted of a related crime and served two years in prison. The men were originally arrested in 2011 after it was discovered that the body of a 24-year-old woman was missing from its grave. The remains of her corps was found at the brothers’ house. Mohammad Arif Ali, 35, and his brother, 30-year-old Mohammad Farman, confessed to having cut up and eaten parts of the woman’s limbs.
Fakhar Bhatti, a police inspector who led the raid on the cannibal brothers’ house in 2011, recounted the experience later to the BBC: “I saw a cooking pot which was half full of meat curry. Nearby was a wooden board, a butcher’s axe and a large kitchen knife,” he said, adding “It still gives me the creeps. They had chopped off one of her legs below the knee, and the other one near the shin. The rest of the body was intact. The curry was made from those parts.”
Arif Ali was arrested after his neighbors reported an odor coming from his house, which they described as smelling like a dead body. Farman Ali was arrested later. During questioning, the brothers admitted that they had been eating bodies from graves for some years and it is believed that they may have consumed parts from around 100 bodies. Following the April arrest of the Ali brothers, police inspected local graveyards to determine if any more graves had been tampered with. Ameer Abdullah, the police chief, spoke with the BBC about the discovery of the three-year-old boy’s head. “They probably dug up his body from a grave, but the identity of the child and the graveyard from where his body might have been stolen is not clear.”
A BBC reporter, M Ilyas Khan, tracked one of the brothers down after his 2013 release from prison. Being a cannibal in Pakistan does endear one to the community and the men were practically in hiding. Arif did not have much to say for himself, other than that he was planning – or hoping – to give up cannibalism.
Since, currently in Pakistan, it is not actually illegal to be a cannibal, the brothers were sent to prison in 2011, not for dismembering and eating parts of a corpse, but for desecrating a grave. The case of these two brothers, however, is forcing the government of Pakistan to change the law. A bill being introduced in the Pakistani National Assembly will make the consumption of human flesh a crime.
Graham J Noble