LAHORE: Lahore remained in the grip of protests on Thursday after the Kasur incident in which eight-year-old Zainab was murdered after being raped. People from different walks of life took to the streets to seek justice for the family of the victim.
Students and social activists held protests and candlelit vigils at Kalma Chowk, Liberty Chowk, Istanbul Chowk, Punjab University and in front of the Provincial Assembly demanding swift justice for the victim’s family.
The protesters suspended the Metro Bus service and staged protest for several hours. They demanded that the culprits be immediately arrested and awarded exemplary punishment. The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with anti-government slogans.
Meanwhile, similar demonstrations were held at Liberty Chowk and other areas. Students from different universities and colleges of the city, under the banner of the Progressive Student Collective, held a protest in front of the Punjab Assembly. The students expressed their anger over the ordeal and demanded justice for the victim’s family.
In retaliation to the brutal incident, protests were also held at Punjab University. The students shouted slogans of “We want justice for Zainab at any cost” and “Hang the criminals publicly”. They also took out a rally demanding the arrest of the perpetrator.
Sara, a student of the university, said the government seemed incapable of providing safety to citizens and such incidents were occurring continuously across the country.
While speaking at the protest, IJT Lahore’s Nazim Jibran Butt said those who killed the eight-year-old girl should be hanged publicly. He said that the whole nation was united against this injustice and would not rest until the killers were punished.
IJT Punjab University activist Nazim Osama Ijaz said that an example should be set and the murderers must be punished in such a way that no would dare think of performing such a heinous act in future.
While speaking to The Express Tribune, Ammar Jan, one of the protest organisers, said that they came out to protest the injustice done in Kasur. He said, “We came here to express our anger and to demand judicial and police reforms. The absence of state, to provide justice to the citizens, will force people to turn to violence.”
He added that they wanted to highlight the responsibility of the state to provide justice to the people. He alleged that the institutions responsible for the provision of justice, the police and the judiciary, were influenced.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2018.