Minor girl's rape, killing sparks protest in Pakistan

Protests have erupted in Pakistan after a six-year-old girl was raped and killed by unknown men in Pakistan's east Kasur city, local reports said Thursday.

The minor girl, Zainab, was on her way to seminary when she was kidnapped by the unknown men on Jan. 4, a few meters away from her house in Kasur, a city located in the country's east Punjab province.

The girl's family alleged that they tried to file a complaint in a local police station, but the cops failed to cooperate with them.

"We provided them CCTV footage of the kidnapping incident to the police, but they did not pay much attention to it," Zainab's uncle said.

The CCTV footage, which went viral on social media, shows the alleged kidnapper walking by a street, holding the girl's hand.

Five days after the kidnapping, on Jan. 9, the girl's body was found on a garbage heap in the city, and the autopsy revealed that she was raped before being strangled to death.

Riots erupted across Kasur on Wednesday with protestors chanting slogans against police and seeking justice for Zainab.

Two protestors were killed and two others injured during the clashes with police, while the Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif ordered to suspend and arrest the cops who opened fire at the mob.

The chief minister also ordered an inquiry into the incident and paid a visit to the minor's house to express his condolence.

The incident was widely reported by local media, and people across the country took to social media to condemn the crime.

Meanwhile, the police issued a sketch of the alleged culprit by judging his facial features from the CCTV footage, and kicked off an investigation and search operation in the area.

The girl's father, who was in Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage when the incident happened, appealed to the country's chief justice and army chief to provide justice to his late daughter.

Responding to the bereaved father's appeal, Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa condemned the incident and directed military to support civil administration for arresting the culprits and "bringing them to exemplary justice," the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the mouthpiece of Pakistani army, said in a statement.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar took a suo motu action against the incident and sought report from the relevant officials of the Punjab police within 24 hours.

Leaders of all political parties condemned the incident and sought justice for the minor girl.

Medico Legal Officer Quratulain Attique at the District Headquarters Hospital, where the autopsy was performed, said that this was the fourth such incidence they have witnessed in the last seven months.

Local TV channel Dawn said that it was the 12th incident of raping and killing of minors in the 2 km radius of the city over the past year.

Police believes that one man or gang is involved in all such incidents.

Earlier in 2015, a group of pedophiles was busted in Kasur for carrying out sexual misconduct with at least 280 minors. The men had been abducting and raping the children since 2009, under the nose of local police in the area, until the news was broken by media.

The families of the affected kids said that the kidnappers had blackmailed them and even sold video clips and images showing them assaulting their children, online.

According to data compiled by NGO Sahil last year, about 11 cases of child sexual abuse are reported from across the country everyday.

According to Pakistan's law, whoever commits rape of minor or person with mental or physical disability shall be punished with death or imprisonment of life.






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