Kasur continues to be gripped by a mix of gloom and rage on second day


KASUR, Jan 11 (TNS): An hour’s drive from the provincial capital of Lahore, the city of Kasur continues to be gripped by a mix of gloom and rage. Protests following the brutal rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab that started a day earlier gained further strength on Thursday.

The minor girl, a resident of Road Kot area of Kasur, had gone missing on January 4 when she ventured out of the house. Her body was found in a garbage pile near Kashmir Chowk five days later.

As protests re-erupted in the city today, the house of local provincial lawmaker Naeem Safdar was ransacked. Police also failed to stop the protesters from ransacking the local government hospital.

Residents protested across the city, including Kali Pul Chowk, whereas the Ferozepur Road, linking Kasur to nearby towns and cities, remained blocked. Moreover, protest demonstrations over the incident were held across the country, from Peshawar to Karachi.

Markets in Kasur also remained close in protest against the incident. Similarly, sporadic demonstrations were held outside the District Headquarters Hospital, where protesters ransacked the premises, which was left devoid of equipment as well as security and medical staff.

The Punjab Bar Council had also announced a complete boycott of courts today and demanded the immediate arrest of the killer(s).

Later in the afternoon, protesters attacked the dera [camp office] of local PML-N MPA Naeem Safdar, and burnt furniture and cars in rage.

Police resorted to tear gas shelling and use of water cannon to disperse protesters. More than 60 protesters were held for arson.