KARACHI, June 2: A five-year-old girl, who had been missing for more than a month, was found murdered in an under-construction building in Safoora Goth on Saturday, police said.

They said the girl was tortured, sexually assaulted and then strangled over two weeks ago.

The incident, which was the fifth one in recent weeks, sparked anger among residents, who criticised the police for failing to curb the frequent kidnapping incidents, particularly of minor girls.

“The body was found in an under-construction building near Safoora Goth as pointed out by some area people,” said Inspector Azhar Ali Iqbal, the SHO of the Sachal police station. “The body was moved to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and as per our regular exercise we contacted the town’s and nearby police stations about a report of missing children in recent weeks. The probe led to the fact that an FIR regarding a girl’s kidnapping was registered at the Mubina Town police station last month.”

The family of the kidnapped girl were approached and finally her father, a resident of Gulshan-i-Iqbal’s Block 4-A, identified the victim as his daughter.

The Mubina Town police said the girl went missing on May 1 while playing near her home with other children.

However, it took the victim’s family more than a week to persuade the area police to register a case. Finally, the police registered an FIR (207/2012) under Section 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) of the Pakistan Penal Code against unknown persons on a complaint of the girl’s father, Muhammad Saleem.

Investigators said that it appeared that the body had lain there for more than 20 days and her father identified her only from her clothes.

A little more than a month, bodies of five minor girls had been found in the Guilshan-i-Iqbal and Gulistan-i-Jauahr areas. All the five victims were kidnapped, raped and then killed.

The Saturday incident, the investigators said, did not seem different from the previous ones as the body bore multiple marks of torture and attempts of a sexual assault.

“The detailed report of a medico-legal examination has been reserved,” said an investigator citing initial findings. “It said that she was killed more than two weeks ago and she was apparently strangled to death. Multiple wounds also suggest attempts of a sexual assault.”

The police claimed that they found some key clues indicating the motive and the people behind the tragic incident.

Mubina Town SHO Inspector Saleemullah Qureshi claimed that the police were moving in a right direction and will get positive result soon.

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