Lahore, January 13
The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered the police chief of Pakistan’s Punjab province to arrest within 36 hours the culprit behind the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl that shook the country.
The LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, hearing a petition filed by an advocate to arrest the culprit, expressed surprise that despite reports of earlier incidents of similar nature from Kasur district of Punjab province, none of the cases were brought to the court.
Police said they have taken 20 suspects into custody and sent their blood samples for DNA testing. “A total 220 suspects have been interrogated so far in the brutal murder of the child. However 20 of them have been taken into custody and their blood samples sent for DNA testing,” senior police officer Zulfiqar Hameed told reporters today.
The official said the forensic profiling will help determine whether the perpetrators behind the girl’s murder are same as those wanted in 10 other such cases in Kasur.
Hameed said police have got “some vital clue” in the case and will soon arrest the culprit. The LHC chief justice ordered the police to submit details of all the cases of child sexual abuse that had taken place in the area, adding that he would also demand a report on the cases from the sessions judge, the DawnNews reported.
The chief justice warned that the court would not tolerate any delay in the case, at which the IGP assured him that the culprit would be caught. The hearing was adjourned until January 15.
On January 10, protests had erupted in Kasur after the child’s body was found in a garbage heap. Autopsy reports revealed that the girl was rapes, tortured and was then strangled to death.
The horrific incident triggered public outrage throughout the country with people demanding justice for the child. The girl’s murder was the 12th such incident reported in Kasur district in a year. Kasur had made headlines in 2015 as well when it was revealed that a gang of paedophiles was busted for running a child sex ring in the city.
Normalcy returned to the city today after the father of the girl appealed to the people to end protest. Meanwhile, the Punjab government has changed the head of the investigation team after the girl’s father expressed dissatisfaction over the pace of investigation.
Amid the nationwide outrage over the incident, a gatekeeper at a school in Karachi’s Ibrahim Hyderi area was today taken into custody for allegedly sexually assaulting a three-year-old girl, the daily reported.
Police said the gatekeeper had allegedly attempted to assault the child yesterday, after which she went home and told her parents.