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.
Rao Anwar Case: ATC sends former SSP on judicial remand till 2nd of May!
KARACHI: Former SSP Rao Anwar, allegedly involved in extra-judicial killings – including of Naqeebullah Mehsud – has been sent to jail on judicial remand till 2nd day of May.
Rao Anwar, who was brought to ATC in an APC, appeared quite composed despite facing noose if proven guilty. IO of the case had requested the court to send Anwar on judicial remand facilitating him to prepare and submit final challan of the case.
He maintained that the challan was to be registered as per the new JIT recommendation that has been formed to investigate the case.
While Rao and another accused Shakeel had been sent to jail till 2nd of April, the judicial remand of other suspects was extended until an unfixed date.
Rao Anwar, eleven of his incarcerated and fourteen bolted subordinates are accused of kidnapping Naqeebullah Mehsud for ransom, murdering him and other three detainees in an orchestrated ‘encounter’. The staged killing was termed as an encounter against ‘militants’ by policemen.
The gang has also been booked in a case for planting hand-grenades and pistols on the four victims after murdering them. Citing the planted arms and explosives a fabricated case was also registered by Rao Anwar & gang against the deceased.
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ACE nabs assistant commissioner of Darya Khan for embezzling millions!
SARGODHA: Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Sargodha region has informed about the arrested of Assistant Commission (AC) Darya Khan for embezzling Rs 14.01 million.
ACE authorities said that Facto Group had purchased property of Adam Sugar Mills in 2015. The Facto Group in collusion with the existing AC Darya Khan and the then Sub Registrar Sajid Safdar had embezzled Rs 14.01 million by transfering fee after showing low value of the property, thus causing a loss to national exchequer.
ACE Director Asim Raza had constituted a 4-member investigation team to probe into the matter.
Four Saudi officers killed and four wounded in a gun attack at an outpost!
RIYADH: According to the Saudi interior ministry four Saudi officers were shot dead and four others wounded when their checkpoint came under gunfire in southern Asir province.
Three officers were instantly killed when the outpost came under attack, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, without specifying who was behind it.
“Security officials have succeeded in identifying a number of suspects involved in the crime and arrested two of them, both Saudi nationals,” SPA said.
“In the interest of the investigation, their names cannot be revealed.” A third Saudi suspect opened fire as he tried to escape, killing another officer and wounding four others, SPA added.
It is pertinent to mention here that the attack comes as Saudi Arabia is embroiled in a long running conflict in its southern neighbor Yemen, dubbed by the United Nations as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.