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.
FIA arrests human smuggler, recovers 167 passports
ISLAMABAD: Anti Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC) of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) conducted a raid at Civic Centre Phase-4 Bahria Town Rawalpindi and arrested a human smuggler.
According to a press release issued here Wednesday, FIA AHTC also recovered 167 Pakistani passports from the possession of the accused, Uzair Hussain s/o Ghulam Hussain.
A case has also been registered against the accused. The accused was also involved in extortion of Rs.5.1 million from Hajj pilgrims.
Misuse of authority by CAA and PIA officials, NAB chief orders verification
ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of the misuse of authority by CAA and PIA, Chairman NAB Justice (R) Javed Iqbal today ordered complaint verification against officials of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Pakistan International Airline (PIA).
The chairman NAB took notice of media reports as PIA passengers were suppose to return from Skardu by PIA flight which reached from Islamabad and was scheduled to come back on time but the Director General CAA allegedly took a group of friends for a special tour to Nanga Parbat on the PIA plane by misusing his authority and due to which PIA passengers have to wait for two hours, said a press release.
The chairman NAB ordered NAB Gilgit/Rawalpindi to probe the matter in detail and submit a report in this regard.
Javed Iqbal also sought a report from PIA for taking action against former CEO of PIA who not only took away PIA plane to abroad without any legal authority and then selling it on throw away price in Germany. The Chairman NAB said PIA was our national asset and safety of this asset was our national duty.
He directed to identify the real culprits allegedly involved in both the incidents so that they would be brought to justice and to recover lost national exchequer from them.
Anti Narcotics Force commanders conference held
RAWALPINDI: Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) Commanders Conference was held here on Wednesday at ANF Headquarters under the chairmanship of Director General, Major General Musarrat Nawaz Malik.
The conference was attended by Commanders of all ANF Regional Directorates and Senior Staff Officers. During the conference, the DG appreciated the performance of ANF outfits especially ongoing Hajj Operation initiated throughout the country smoothly and focused on the campaign against drug sellers affecting the youth.
He also highlighted the emerging trends of use of synthetic drugs, underlining it as a grave threat requiring special measures. He urged to ensure the strict checking of the pilgrims as well as international flights and to speed up the ongoing countrywide counter-narcotics operations, with a continued special focus on the apprehension of elements involved in the distribution of drugs among the students of academic institutions and hostels.
He also directed the commanders to take measures for the apprehension of absconders and proclaimed offenders.
The DG reviewed the progress of counter-narcotics operations and stressed on proactive and innovative steps for curbing drug trafficking and apprehension of sources of supply of drugs.
Moreover, matters pertaining to enforcement, intelligence, assets investigation, prosecution, mass awareness, finance, administration, and infrastructure development were widely discussed, futuristic goals were also set-forth, paying special concentration on new initiatives and capacity building goals.