As news of the alleged rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kasur began circulating on social media, Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday took notice of the incident and ordered the speedy arrest of the culprits.
This is the 12th incident of this nature in this particular area in Kasur ─ falling within a radius of 2 kilometres ─ over the last year. Police inaction against the perpetrators has sparked protests among locals.
Zainab, 8, went to a tuition centre near her house in Road Kot area last Thursday when someone abducted her. Zainab’s parents had gone to perform Umrah and, according to the family, were scheduled to return that very day.
The panicked family got a footage showing Zainab with a stranger near Peerowala Road in the Saddar police jurisdiction. The video went viral on social media but no clue could be found.
On Tuesday, a police constable deputed to trace the girl recovered her body from a heap of trash near Shahbaz Khan Road. Police said the girl seemed to have been killed four or five days ago.
The recovery of the body of an eight-year-old missing girl on Tuesday – a few days after she was allegedly raped and killed – cast a pall of gloom in the city.
Police sent the body to the District Headquarters Hospital for autopsy. A number of people gathered in the hospital, where police reluctantly handed over the body to the family because of apprehension of protest.
As the word got around, the traders shuttered their shops and staged a protest demonstration. Scores of other people also gathered at Steel Bagh Mor near the hospital and protested by keeping the body (in a pickup) in the middle of the road.
They threw traffic out of gear by burning tyres on Ferozepur Road and chanted slogans against police and local parliamentarians for their alleged apathy.
Coincidentally an event being organised by the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau to think through the issue of child abduction and killing cases had to be cut short when the news about the incident spread.
The District Bar Association (DBA) announced boycott of court proceedings on Wednesday (today) to express solidarity with the bereaved family and build pressure on the law-enforcement agencies to arrest the killer.
CM Sharif directed the inspector general of police to submit an investigation report on the incident and ordered the immediate arrest of the culprits.
He expressed sorrow and grief over the incident and vowed to personally oversee progress the case.