Zainab Ki Namaz e Janaza
Kasur Minor Girl Zainab
Two people were killed by gunshot wounds as enraged protesters armed with sticks and stones attempted to storm the deputy commissioner's office and were repelled by police. Two others were injured in the clashes, hospital sources said.
Television footage showed a policeman firing into the advancing mob before being told to fire into the air. It is not clear yet whether the policeman was responsible for the deaths or injuries.
What we know so far:
Missing person FIR registered on Jan 5, a day after the girl went missing
CCTV footage of girl being led by a suspect was circulated on social media after she went missing
Police later found girl's body dumped in a trash heap on Tuesday
Police confirmed after initial investigation that the girl was strangled
Citizens have been protesting in Kasur amidst a complete shutdown of the city
Social media outrage has grown across the country over the police's perceived inaction
The LHC CJ, Punjab CM, Senate and army chief have taken notice of the case
Riots continue in Kasur, as groups of protesters demand justice for Zainab and for two protesters killed in clashes with police
The brutal murder has incited anger among the city's residents as it is the 12th such case to occur within a two kilometre radius in the city over a one-year period.
Kasur had last attained local and international notoriety in 2015 when a gang of paedophiles running a child sex ring was busted in the city.
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.
Girl goes missing
Zainab, 7, had gone to a tuition centre near her house in the Road Kot area last Thursday on Jan 4, after which she was allegedly abducted. Zainab's parents were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage), according to her family, and she had been living with a maternal aunt.
Soon after her abduction, her panicked family had received footage showing her walking with a stranger near Peerowala Road. This video has since gone viral on social media.
On Tuesday, a police constable deputed to trace the girl recovered her body from a heap of trash near the Shahbaz Khan Road.
Police said the girl seemed to have been killed four or five days earlier. Police had reluctantly handed her body over to the family fearing protests.
A first information report had been registered against the disappearance of the girl on Jan 5, with the victim's paternal uncle as the complainant in the case. Murder charges were added to the FIR on Jan 9, after the victim's body was recovered.
'I want justice for Zainab'
Zainab's parents returned from their pilgrimage today. As reporters surrounded them outside Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport, her grieving mother said: "I have nothing to say, I just want justice for my daughter."
Zainab's father claimed that police "did not cooperate" with them. "It is our friends who have stood by us. The culprits have even been identified but the police has not made any progress," he claimed.
"We will not bury her until we get justice," he asserted. "We are now afraid of letting our children leave the home. How was our child kidnapped from a busy market?" he asked.
Police investigate as protests erupt
Police told Dawn that DNA samples from the victim's body have been dispatched for forensic testing. Police have dubbed the murder a serial killing, but are not ruling out rape. Further information will be available once an autopsy report is issued.
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Kasur Zulfikar Muhammad confirmed that the girl was strangled to death. He told the media that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed the forensic lab to expedite the process for Zainab's autopsy.
Riots erupt in Kasur.
"Naturally, there is also a certain amount of time that the processing will take; there is a certain amount of time that the lab takes," he said. It generally takes 24-48 hours for an autopsy to take place and a report to be issued.
Protests break out
The recovery of Zainab's body on Tuesday had ignited protests and a shutter-down strike in the city.
As word got around, traders shuttered their shops and staged a protest demonstration. Scores of other people also gathered at Steel Bagh Mor near the hospital and protested with the girl's body in the middle of the road. They also threw traffic out of gear by burning tyres on Ferozepur Road and chanted slogans against police and local parliamentarians for their alleged apathy.
People from other parts of the county took to social media to share their anger and outrage over the murder using the hashtag #JusticeForZainab.
Zainab Namaz e Janaza || Justice For Zainab || Kasur minor girl Zainab || Dr Tahir ul Qadri
Minor girl raped and killed in Kasur