Punjab government, police did not take Zainab's rape, murder case seriously: LHC chief justice

CJ Mansoor Ali Shah said if steps had been taken in 2015, Zainab’s murder would never have taken place

News Desk January 15, 2018
Zainab's murder has sparked protests across Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court (LHC), Mansoor Ali Shah, has said that the Punjab government and police did not take the minor girl’s murder case seriously.

According to Express News, the two-judge bench, comprising of Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan, conducted the hearing of the Kasur murder case.

During the hearing, DG Forensic and former JIT Chief Additional Inspector General (IG) Abu Bakar appeared before the court, however, despite a judicial order, IG Punjab Arif Nawaz failed to appear before the court.

With deadline crossed, Zainab’s case yet to be solved

According to DG forensics, the DNA of the Zainab’s murderer matched the DNA found in six other similar cases from Kasur.

The person involved in these cases was reported to be a serial killer.

According to the former JIT chief, the first such case of rape and murder took place in June 2015.

Justice Sadaqat Ali Khan said that the court had given a 36-hour deadline for the arrest of the murderer, however, no arrest was made. He also stated that it was not necessary to wait for the DNA reports as there were several other ways to arrest the murderer.

Man wanted for Zainab's murder allegedly involved in 8 more rape cases

LHC chief justice said that the police and government should accept the fact that they had been negligent. If steps had been taken in 2015 then Zainab’s murder would never have taken place.

He ordered IG Punjab to appear before the court on January 17 with a complete record.

The hearing has been adjourned till Wednesday.

According to sources, the DNA found on the victim was similar to that found on previous rape and murder victims.
 On January 11, sources told the Express Tribune that besides DNA matches, other aspects of the crime scene also matched previous cases. 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 such as under a construction house, park, or a drain. All previous victims were also found strangled to death.

The first case appeared on January 9, 2017, when the body of a six-year-old girl was recovered. In April 2017, another six-year-old victim was found under similar circumstances. On average, a similar case was reported every month in 2017.

Despite protesting multiple times regarding the various incidents of rape and subsequent murder of young children in the city, after Zainab's murder, the people of Kasur voiced their anger and outrage by burning tyres in the city.

On January 11, a crowd of protesters gathered in front of DHQ Hospital and demanded the public flogging and hanging of “the monster responsible”.

Over 700 cases since 2015: What makes Kasur a hub of child abuse?

Mumtaz Gohar, senior program officer at Sahil, told The Express Tribune that in 2017, a total of 129 cases of child assault were reported from Kasur alone. Of them, 34 were abductions, 23 were rapes, 19 sodomy, 17 attempted rapes, six abduction and rapes, and four abduction and gang-rapes.

2015 saw the most such incidents recorded, with a total of 451 cases of child abuse were registered in the area. The infamous Kasur child abuse scandal accounted for 285 of these cases.

A total of 141 cases were reported in 2016 from Kasur.

“If the victim will get justice and accused get punished, no such cases will be reported at all,” replied Gohar when asked why so many cases occur in Kasur and surrounding area.



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