Child Zainab’s rape and murder: 12th such case in Kasur in 1 year

Another child Faizan, a 15-year-old student of class 9, tortured to death and body found in the fields in Faisalabad. As per Dunya News initial investigations also reveal sexual assault.

Two protesters have died in rioting over the latest in a series of child rape and murders in the city of Kasur as residents on Wednesday agitated against perceived police inaction over the alleged rape and murder of a 7-year-old resident of the city in Punjab– Pakistan’s largest province.

The brutal murder of the minor, the 12th such case to occur within a two-kilometer radius of the city over the last year, ignited a wellspring of anger among the city’s residents.

The body of seven-year-old Zainab was found in a rubbish dump on Tuesday, a week after she went missing. She had been raped and strangled.

Angry demonstrators said the authorities are doing little to stem the spate of abductions, sexual assaults and killings.

According to reports, a Missing person FIR was registered on Jan 5, a day after the girl went missing.

Zainab, 7, had gone to a religious tuition center near her house in the Road Kot area last Thursday (Jan 4) from where she is believed to have been abducted. Her parents had been in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage), according to her family, and she had been living with a maternal aunt.

CCTV footage of girl being led by a suspect was circulated on social media after she went missing.

Police later found girl’s body dumped in a trash heap on Tuesday. Zainab’s family say the police did not take action after they reported her disappearance and it was relatives who recovered CCTV footage of Zainab’s movements before she disappeared, not the police.

“If the police would have acted immediately, the culprit would have been caught,” Zainab’s father told Geo TV as he arrived back in the capital Islamabad from Saudi Arabia, where he had been on a pilgrimage.

The Lahore High court Chief Justice, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, the Senate, Chief justice of Pakistan and the army chief have taken notice of the case.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader Tahirul Qadri led the funeral prayers for the victim, with thousands of residents of the city gathered to lay the child to rest.

Riots continue in Kasur according to BBC, as groups of protesters demand justice for Zainab and for two protesters killed in clashes with police, report local media.

Rights activist Farzana Bari observed that people “feel unsafe” and “have lost all trust in state institutions”.

“These people that are protesting do not have a leader, they are not being led,” she pointed out. “They are all protesting because they feel unsafe.”

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah appealed for calm, saying the provincial government had “taken notice of the case”.

“People need to keep their emotions in check and not aggravate the situation,” he advised.

The law minister appeared optimistic that the perpetrators would be arrested within the next eight to 10 hours, and said that the culprit seemed to have been an acquaintance of the family.

He added that “a child’s safety is its parents’ responsibility.”

According to reports, Kasur had last attained local and international notoriety in 2015 when a gang of pedophiles running a child sex ring was busted in the city.

The gang had allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted at least 280 children in the area, had blackmailed the families of the victims since 2009, and even sold video clips and images of the assault online.

Meanwhile, another child Faizan, a 15yr old student of grade 9, was tortured to death and his body found in the fields in Faisalabad. As per Dunya News, initial investigations also reveal sexual assault.

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