A suspected child rapist was remanded in judicial custody on Saturday, as angry relatives and neighbours of the victim staged protests demanding that he be handed over to them for a public execution.
Some 500 people held up traffic for several hours in a tyre-burning protest on the Ring Road and damaged a police vehicle, after a 23-year-old school teacher was arrested for the brutal rape of a nine-year-old girl on the day after Eid. Badami Bagh police had taken his two brothers into custody on Friday and released them after the suspect was arrested.
Residents of the neighbourhood in Badami Bagh said that the suspect had lured the child into his house when she was playing in the street on Thursday afternoon. She returned to her home and told her parents that the man, a teacher at the Alfatah Foundation School, had raped her.
The school is owned by one of his brothers.
The girl’s father, Tariq, said that he took her to Nawaz Sharif Hospital where no doctor was available to treat her for four hours. They were eventually referred to Mayo Hospital where doctors operated on her, he said. She is now out of danger.
The angry residents sealed the school on Friday night. They continued to express their outrage in protests on Saturday where they demanded that the suspect be lynched. They said that the teacher had been accused of child rape in an incident three months ago as well.
MNA Malik Riaz, Advisor to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif Ghazali Saleem Butt and SP Anwar Khaitran travelled to the scene of the protests on Saturday and assured the protesters that justice would be done in the case.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.