Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Timeline of protests over 7-year-old Zainab's rape, murder in Pakistan

Timeline of protests over 7-year-old Zainab's rape, murder in Pakistan

Speaking out against the brutal crime that Zainab was subjected to, she said, "It is rightly said, the smallest coffins are the heaviest".

Massive protests and riots rocked Pakistan's Kasur, a city located in the Punjab state near the Indian border, over the rape and murder of a seven-year-old minor girl, whose body was found buried in garbage, Pakistani media reported.

On Thursday, protesters threw stones at government buildings and set cars and a local politician's office alight, complaining that police had not done more to stop violence against children.A local police spokesman told AFP news agency "up to 1,000" people had taken to the streets. CCTV footage showing her with a stranger near Peerowala Road has since gone viral.

Zainab's parents were away on a pilgrimage when the incident took place.

Police on Saturday arrested three suspects in the Kasur rape case while the main suspect seen walking away with the girl is still at large.

Kasur made global headlines in 2015 when a gang of paedophiles running a child sex ring was busted, Dawn reported. Her body was found in a rubbish dump on Tuesday, police said. The gang had allegedly abducted and sexually assaulted at least 280 children in the area, had blackmailed the families of the victims since 2009, and even sold video clips and images of the assault online.

Rana Sanaullah, the home minister for Punjab province, said DNA testing has linked the killing to at least five other cases of child abuse and murder in the city of Kasur. "I'm a mother and that is why I'm sitting here with my daughter", Naz was quoted as saying by The Times of India report.

The DNA test points towards a serial killer as the recent incident has much similarity with previous mishaps. He added that police are waiting for forensic evidence to be collected and analyzed.

Punjab Chief Minister's advisor Dr Umer Saif published the report pertaining to the developments made in the case.

"Initial autopsy report suggests that the girl was strangulated after rape", Hameed said.

As word got around, traders shuttered their shops and staged a protest demonstration. The abuse was uncovered in 2015 and a number of suspects arrested.

Laws for the protection of children must be made in line with global laws, he said.

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