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Justice For Zainab: Protests Continue in Kasur For 2nd Day

Kasur (January 11, 2018): Kasur is boiling with anger as the stick wielding protesters took to streets blocking roads forcing and enforcing market closures for the second consecutive day on Thursday.

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 after her disappearance.

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Zainab’s initial postmortem report stated that she was strangled to death after being raped multiple times. However, officials said the exact cause of death would be determined after further forensic examination.

Protests have re-erupted in the city today following a day of demonstrations on Wednesday after news of the incident sparked nationwide public outrage.

She was laid to rest amid scenes of mourning and tears on Wednesday night as hundreds of thousand people attended the funeral prayer of fairy-like innocent girl.

Despite all the tall claims, the police have not been able to nab the man who was seen taking her along in the CCTV video.Protests broke out in the city soon after the body of seven-year old girl, who went missing last week, was found dumped in a trash pile. It is the 12th such incident of the same nature in Kasur, in which minor girls were molested and murdered after abduction. Culprits, involved in any of these incidents, have not been apprehended.

Protesters took to streets, forcing closure of markets and setting many vehicles on fire. Two people were reported killed during the clashes with police when a group of protesters stormed the office of Deputy Commissioner.Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif met the family of Zainab in the wee hours on Thursday. The CM vowed to bring the culprits involved in the heinous crime to book soon.

Meanwhile, two separate First Information Reports (FIRs), on the behalf of Kashif Imran and Rizwan Ahmad, have been registered against police personnel over opening fire on the protesters.

The incident has sparked outrage across the country. Politicians, celebrities and sportsmen took to social media to condemn the shocking incident, demanding justice and raising questions over the government’s failure to punish the culprits, aiders, abetters of the 2015 Kasur child abuse case as well as abysmal protection of minors in the region.

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and has sought report from the authorities and constituted a joint investigation team to probe the issue.

He reached the house of seven-year-old Zainab in the wee hours of Wednesday and assured Zainab parents to provide complete cooperation from his government.

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Nobel Peace Laureate Malala Yousafzai also condemned cold blooded murder of minor girl Zainab in Kasur, saying she was heartbroken to hear about Zainab.

Meanwhile, the burial of the two protesters allegedly killed by the police firing, Shoaib and Mohammad Ali, is expected today afternoon.

Their post-mortem report is also expected to be released today.

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Two policemen and as many civil defence officials have been held for firing on protesters while murder charges have been included in two FIRs registered against 16 unidentified policemen on the complaints of the deceased’s brothers.

Newly-appointed District Police Officer (DPO) Kasur Zahid Khan Marwat told that as many as three police officers who opened fire on people protesting against brutal killing of seven-year-old girl Zainab after rape have been arrested.

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Howver, 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.

The funeral prayers of the deceased were offered Wednesday afternoon, led by Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s Tahirul Qadri.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar also took suo motu notice of the case later on Wednesday, ordering the Punjab Inspector General of Police to submit a report to the court within 24 hours.Earlier that day, responding to the parents’ appeal, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa issued directives for all-out support to the civil administration to arrest the criminals and bring them to exemplary justice.

Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah had also taken notice of the incident and summoned reports from the Kasur sessions judge and police officials.

The chief minister also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) headed by Additional Inspector-General Abubakar Khuda Bakhsh.The JIT, which also includes officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Intelligence Bureau, was ordered to submit its report within 24 hours.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said Wednesday two people were suspected to be involved in the rape and murder of Zainab, adding they will be arrested soon and given an exemplary punishment.

He also challenged the narrative pertaining to police’s inaction in the case, adding that the police were in contact with the minor’s family constantly and conducting an investigation.

When asked about lack of police action regarding similar cases in Kasur, Sanaullah remarked that all the cases are of different nature. It’s not that there is just one suspect behind all the incidents whom the police have failed to arrest, he said.The CCTV footage shows that the minor was walking with someone she knew. “It was either someone from her family, neighbourhood or servant,” the minister speculated.

Earlier, Kasur District Police Officer Zulfiqar Ahmed revealed that over 5,000 people have been questioned in eight cases related to minor girls being allegedly raped and then murdered in the city, while medical checkups of 67 individuals have taken place.

Ahmed was later removed from office and made an officer on special duty (OSD).

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On February 25 last year, a seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped and then strangled to death in Kasur. According to reports, her body was found at an abandoned house near her residence in Ali Park.

The victim’s family and neighbours had protested by blocking Lahore Road demanding justice.

In August 2015, the country’s biggest child abuse scandal was unearthed in Ganda Singh Wala area of Kasur, where around 400 objectionable videos were made of 280 victims of abuse by a gang of over 25 criminals.

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