Police said that the minor, a resident of Rod Kot area of Kasur, was kidnapped on her way to a tuition centre on January 5. Her body was found in a garbage pile near Kashmir Chowk after four days.
The initial postmortem report states that the minor was strangled to death after being raped multiple times.
According to sources, when the incident occurred the minor’s parents were in Saudi Arabia, where they had gone to perform Umrah.
After hearing about the incident, the parents are expected to return to the country today (Wednesday), sources added.
CM directs authorities to immediately arrest culprits
Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, taking notice of the incident, ordered authorities to immediately arrest culprits.
The chief minister also summoned a report from IG over the matter. The culprits won’t be able to escape punishment, he said.
Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief with the parents of the deceased girl. “Justice for the parents will be dispensed at all costs.” Shehbaz Sharif said that he will personally look after the case investigation.
The chief minister has also chaired a meeting over the matter. During the meeting, Shehbaz Sharif said verbal commitments will not work anymore.
Police officers should also be investigated for showing negligence, the chief minister said, adding that such sorrowful incidents would not be tolerated at any cost.
DPO Kasur, Zulfiqar Ahmed has revealed that over 5,000 people have been questioned in eight cases related to minor girls being allegedly raped and then murdered in the city, while medical checkups of 67 individuals have taken place. The police official added that police is using video from CCTV as part of the investigation.
People protest high rates of child abuse
As news of the horrific crime spread, people took to the streets and staged a protest on Tuesday. The protesters blocked roads and closed markets. Incident of protesters pushing police officers were also reported near Ferozepur Road.
One of the protesters shared that seven minor girls were kidnapped last year, yet the police failed to arrest a single suspect.
The protest was called off after eight hours when the police assured that the suspects would be arrested.
Traders have announced to protest today (Wednesday) as well. The protest will be staged at Chandi Chowk and Shahbaz Road.
Moreover, people on social media also raised their voice against the incident. #JusticeForZainab was the top trend on Twitter with people calling for immediate action against those responsible.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari termed the rape and murder shocking. Bilawal was critical of the provincial government, demanding immediate action against the culprits.
“Ten incidents of minors’ rape and murders had been reported in Kasur and eleven in Sheikhupura alone last year. It seems some parts of Punjab have been turned into hell for the children, especially the girls but Sharif brothers appear to have abandoned their duty as rulers,” the PPP Chairman said in a statement.
Assefa Bhutto Zardari tweeted that the seven-year-old was horrifically tortured and murdered and her heart breaks for the child’s family.
#JusticeForZainab she was only 7 years old !!! Zainab was an innocent child and she was horrifically tortured & murdered, my heart breaks for her family. May Allah give them strength #UniteAgainstChildAbuse
— Aseefa B Zardari (@AseefaBZ) January 10, 2018
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz called for the culprits to not only be brought to justice but also made an example of.
On February 25, last year, a seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped and then strangled to death in Kasur, informed police authorities.
According to reports, the body of a minor was found from an abandoned house near her residence in Ali Park. Police shifted her body to District Hospital for medico-legal formalities, further adding that initial investigations indicate that she was killed by strangulation. Any conclusive statement will be issued after the post-mortem report.
The victim’s family and neighbours protested by blocking Lahore road – they demanded justice and called for stern punishments against the offenders.