LAHORE: LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah today took notice of the alleged 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.
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. He told the media that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed the forensic lab to expedite the process for Zainab’s autopsy.
“Naturally, there is also a certain amount of time that the processing will take; there is a certain amount of time that the lab takes,” he said.
The alleged rape and murder of the minor girl ─ the 12th such incident to occur in Kasur within a two kilometre 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 tires 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”. He also said: “People need to keep their emotions in check and not aggravate the situation,”
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”. She also pointed out that “These people that are protesting do not have a leader, they are not being led, and they are all protesting because they feel unsafe.”
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Mian Mehmoodur said the culprits in such cases “should be found and hanged” so that such incidents don’t occur again.
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.”Why is the PTI not protesting now? Why is Tahirul Qadri silent? He has been concerned about his 14 people (victims of the Lahore Model Town tragedy), however he has nothing to say about these children,” he lamented.
FLOW OF TRAGIC EVENTS:
1) FIR was registered on Jan 4, the day the girl went missing.
2) CCTV footage of girl with a stranger circulated on social media.
3) Police find girl (allegedly raped and murdered) in trash heap on Tuesday.
4) Police confirm that girl was strangled.
5) Citizens stage protest, shutter-down strike in Kasur.
6) Social media outrage over police inaction.
7) LHC CJ, Punjab CM, Senate take notice of case.
8) Protesters storm DC office demanding action.
9) Three protesters killed during clashes with LEAs.
Zainab’s killer hanged to death
LAHORE: Imran Ali, the convicted of molesting and murdering seven-year-old Zainab Amin of Kasur City, was hanged to death at Central Jail Kot Lakhpat in Lahore early this morning.
An Anti-Terrorism Court Judge, Sajjad Ahmad on Friday had issued black warrants for Imran Ali. An Anti-Terrorism Court on February 2, had awarded death sentence to Imran Ali, on the charges of kidnapping, rape and brutal murder of Zainab Amin of Kasur after completing the trial in a record seven days time.
He was executed in the presence of Magistrate Adil Sarwar and the Zainab’s father, Muhammad Amin Ansari. Talking to media on the occasion, the father of Zainab, Muhammad Amin said that such kind of criminals should be hanged publicly for giving a lesson to all such evil minds.
Later, the dead body of Imran Ali was handed over to his heirs after completing formal legal proceeding.
Land Grabbing: Mansha Khokhar arrested!
ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Secretariat Police today arrested an absconding suspect Mansha Khokhar alias Mansha Bomb from premises of Supreme Court as he was wanted in land grabbing cases.
According to the source, he came to the court and wanted to surrender himself before the court. He also demanded to meet Chief Justice, the source said adding that Mansha and his sons are accused of illegally grabbing land in Lahore’s Johar Town area.
It is to mention that Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar had ordered immediate arrest of the alleged land grabber last month, however, he was absconding since then.
The source said that he had been shifted to Secretariat Police Station by its SHO and further legal proceedings will be initiated against them. He may be handed over to Punjab police, the source maintained.
14 killed in bomb attack on Afghan election rally!
KUNDUZ: A motorcycle carrying explosives blew up among supporters of an Afghan election candidate on Saturday, killing at least 14 people, officials said, in the latest attack on a political rally.
Violence related to the parliamentary vote has killed or wounded hundreds of people in recent months and more militant attacks are expected ahead of Afghanistan’s October 20 poll. More than 30 people were wounded in the explosion in the northeastern province of Takhar where candidate Nazifa Yousefibek had been campaigning, provincial governor spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hejri told the Media. Interior ministry deputy spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said most of the 14 killed were civilians.
“The explosives were placed in a motorcycle and detonated behind a tent where Nazifa Yousefibek was campaigning,” Rahimi said. Yousefibek was not hurt in the blast. No group has claimed responsibility. Ambulances have been sent to the remote district of Rustaq where the attack happened, but officials also are seeking to airlift the wounded to hospitals, Hejri said.
Khan Jan, who told AFP he saw the explosion, said there had been a powerful blast and “a lot of people” had been killed. More than 2,500 candidates are contesting the long-delayed legislative elections. At least nine candidates have died so far, most of them in targeted killings, according to the Independent Election Commission. A candidate was among eight people killed in a suicide attack in the southern province of Helmand – a Taliban stronghold – on October 9. No group has claimed responsibility. That incident came a day after the Taliban warned candidates to pull out of the “bogus” election, describing it as a “malicious American conspiracy”.
The group vowed to attack the ballot and those involved in it. An attack on a rally in the eastern province of Nangarhar on October 2 killed 13 people and wounded more than 40. The Islamic State group claimed the attack, which the candidate survived. Violence had been expected to escalate ahead of the poll. Preparations for the ballot, which is a test run for next year’s presidential vote, have been in turmoil for months and there has been a debate about whether the vote should go ahead.
Bureaucratic inefficiency, allegations of industrial-scale fraud and an eleventh-hour pledge for biometric verification of voters threaten to derail the process, which is three years late. Some 54,000 members of Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces will be responsible for protecting more than 5,000 polling centers on election day. But there are concerns over how they will manage as the Taliban and the Islamic State group step up attacks across the country.