Rehman Malik denounces rape and murder of minor girl in Kasur

 
1039

Says Inspector General of Punjab should personally investigate the matter and treat it as a challenge

Orders Punjab police submit a report on the matter within next five days

ISLAMABAD Jan 10 (TNS):  Senator A. Rehman Malik, chairman Senate Standing Committee on Wednesday took notice of the rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl in Kasur which has sparked protests and outrage both in the city and on social media.

Rehman Malik said the incidents of this nature are very serious, worst kind if child abuse, and an unbearable heinous crime.

He ordered that the Punjab police submit a report on the matter within the next five days.

Malik also said that the Inspector General of Punjab should personally investigate the matter and treat it as a challenge.

Zainab, 8, was last known to have attended a tuition centre near her house in the Road Kot area last Thursday, after which she was allegedly abducted. Zainab’s parents had gone to perform Umrah and, according to the family, were scheduled to return that very day.

Her panicked family received footage showing her with a stranger near Peerowala Road, a video which has since gone viral on social media.

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, and sent her body to the District Headquarters Hospital for an autopsy where a number of people had gathered. Police had reluctantly handed her body over to the family due to apprehension over a protest.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Kasur Zulfikar Muhammad confirmed today that the girl was strangled to death.

The alleged rape and murder of the minor girl, the 12th such incident to occur in Kasur within a two kilometer radius in the past year, has ignited protests and a shutter-down strike in the city since Tuesday.

As word got around, traders shuttered their shops and staged a protest demonstration. Scores of other people also gathered at Steel Bagh Mor near the hospital and protested with the girl’s body in the middle of the road.

They also threw traffic out of gear by burning tyres on Ferozepur Road and chanted slogans against police and local parliamentarians for their alleged apathy.

Today, enraged citizens armed with sticks and stones stormed the deputy commissioner’s office in protest over police inaction.

According to local reports, two protesters were killed and two others injured during the protest.

People from other parts of the county took to social media to share their anger and outrage over the murder, using the hashtag #JusticeForZainab.

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.

Sanaullah said the culprit seems to be an acquaintance of the family. He added that a child’s safety is its parents’ responsibility.

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.”

Philanthropist Sarim Burney accused those in power of only being concerned about “safeguarding” their power, whereas those not in power seem interested only in attaining it.

The District Bar Association (DBA) has announced boycott of court proceedings today to express solidarity with the bereaved family and build pressure on the law-enforcement agencies to arrest the killer.