DNA in case matches previous crimes; 3 cops held; Rs10m reward announced for culprit’s ID
Violent protests continued here on second day Thursday against rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab.
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, the house of local provincial lawmaker Naeem Safdar of PML-N was ransacked. Police failed to stop the protesters from ransacking the local government hospital.
Residents are protesting across the city, including Kali Pul Chowk, whereas the Ferozepur Road, linking Kasur to nearby towns and cities, remained blocked. Moreover, protests against the incident are being taken out across the country, from Peshawar to Karachi. Markets in Kasur remained closed in protest against the incident. Similarly, sporadic demonstrations were held outside the District Headquarters Hospital where protesters ransacked the premises.
The Punjab Bar Council announced a complete boycott of courts on Thursday, demanding immediate arrest of the killer(s).
Police resorted to tear gas shelling and use of water cannon to disperse protesters but failed to do so. In a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan came down hard on the provincial government over the incident.
“The parents of the seven-year-old Zainab are demanding justice from the army chief and chief justice, not the Punjab police and provincial government. “The police which are supposed to protect people are only protecting one family,” said Imran.
The Punjab Police has submitted its report to the Supreme Court on the rape and murder of Zainab. Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice of the case on Wednesday and had directed police to submit a report in 24 hours.
The Chief Justice expressing condolences over the brutal rape and murder of Zainab, remarked that the head of the entire nation hangs in shame over the heinous incident, which is a matter of embarrassment for the country.
Along with details of the postmortem report, IG Punjab’s report contained details of the measures being taken by Punjab police to trace the culprit.
“House to house search with help of last crime scene witness was carried out to identify the culprits,” the report read.
Medico Legal Officer of Dr Attique said that this is the fourth such case she has seen in the seven months in the hospital. Of the four cases, only one child survived the ordeal. The findings in all cases were similar to those in Zainab’s case.
According to more details available, the ill-fated Zainab was kidnapped while she was going to an aunt to learn recitation of the Holy Quran.
CCTV footage, showed the suspect forcibly holding her arm in the video.
Punjab Chief Minister has announced a Rs10 million reward for whoever identifies the culprit.
Chairing an important meeting over the Kasur tragedy on Thursday, Shehbaz also announced Rs3 million each for the families of the two protesters killed in firing by the police.
The chief minister ordered that the charge-sheet for the case should be presented in court within 24 hours.
He visited Zainab’s residence. In his conversation with the deceased’s parents, the chief minister promised not to rest until the culprit responsible for the heinous crime was brought to book.
Moreover, overnight, officials of an intelligence agency collected evidence and recorded the statements of victim Zainab’s family.
Zainab’s parents claimed that police did not cooperate in finding their child after she went missing. “If the police would have acted immediately, the culprit would have been caught,” said Zainab’s father.
It is the 12th such incident of the same nature in Kasur in recent months in which minor girls were molested and murdered after abduction. Culprits, involved in any of these incidents, have not been apprehended.
A JIT comprising of civil and army officials has been constituted to probe the matter. The elements indulging in acts of brutality with the innocent children are not human but savage and a burden on the soil.
According to sources, the DNA found on the victim was similar to that found on previous rape and murder victims.
Besides DNA matches, other aspects of the crime scene also match. All victims were between the age of five and eight, they would go missing for few days prior to their bodies being recovered from abandoned places.