Parents arrive in Kasur, demand justice for Zainab

Kasur (HRNW): At least two protesters were killed and two others sustained gunshot wounds in police action after they surrounded the District Police Officer (DPO) and District Coordination Officer (DCO) offices in protest over alleged rape and murder of a minor girl here,  One of the deceased protesters has been identified as Mohammad Ali who took to road alongside many other people to lodge a complaint against authorities’ inaction in abduction and rape of minor girls in the area. The traders community in city had also announced backing to the protest call. The protests in the city were erupted after the body of 7-year-old missing girl, Zainab, was found dumped in a garbage heap near Kashmir Chowk in Kasur on Tuesday.

In light of initial postmortem, police said the minor has been sexually assaulted before her murder. The girl was strangled to death after being raped multiple times, police said. The minor was a resident of Road Kot area of Kasur and was abducted on January 5 (Friday) while she was on her way to tuition centre, relatives informed. The victim’s parents are in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. The vile incident occurred in their absence. Zainab’s parents are expected to return to the country today (Wednesday), relatives informed. Talking to media, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed the suspect has been identified to a ‘great extent’. “Police is making all-out efforts to arrest the culprits,” he said. Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri led the funeral prayers of Zainab Wednesday afternoon.

Following the funeral rites, Tahirul Qadri said that Zainab’s murder is an insult to humanity. He held Punjab government responsible for the incident and said that the leaders have no right to stay in power as they have failed to provide protection to the people. Taking notice of the heart-wrenching incident, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif issued directives to police authorities for an immediate arrest of culprits involved in the heinous crime. He also summoned a report from Inspector General (IG) of Police Punjab on the matter. “The culprits should not be able to escape punishment,” the CM urged. He expressed grief with the parents of deceased girl and assured them that the justice would be provided at all costs.

On the other hand, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) Mansoor Ali Shah also took notice of the incident and sought a report from police officers and sessions court judge in Kasur. He strongly condemned the incident and announced justice to be made at any cost. Earlier, people took to the streets and staged a protest over the incident on Tuesday, blocking roads and closing nearby markets in Kasur. The protest was called off after eight hours on Tuesday when police assured the protesters that all efforts would be made to arrest the culprits. The protesters complained that at least seven minor girls were abducted last year and the authorities and the law enforcement authorities failed to arrest culprits in a single case.

Members of civil society and politicians have also demanded immediate arrest of the culprits and a thorough investigation of the incident.Taking to twitter, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Arif Alvi voiced similar concerns and called for an action against the culprits behind the heinous crime. On the other hand, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz called for an exemplary punishment to the culprits. “I hope and pray the culprits are not only brought to justice but made an example of,” she tweeted.

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