KASUR: The recovery of the body of an eight-year-old missing girl on Tuesday – a few days after she was allegedly raped and killed – cast a pall of gloom in the city.

In the last one year, this is the 12th incident of this nature in a Kasur area (within a radius of two kilometres), where people are appalled at police inaction.

Zainab, 8, went to a tuition centre near her house in Road Kot area on Thursday last when someone abducted her. The parents of Zainab had gone to perform Umrah and, according to the family, were scheduled to return that very day.

The panicked family got a footage showing Zainab going with a stranger near Peerowala Road in the Saddar police jurisdiction. The video went viral on social media but no clue could be found.

On Tuesday, a police constable deputed to trace the girl recovered her body from a heap of trash near Shahbaz Khan Road. Police said the girl seemed to have been killed four or five days ago.

Police sent the body to the District Headquarters Hospital for autopsy. A number of people gathered in the hospital, where police reluctantly handed over the body to the family because of apprehension of protest.

As the word got round, the traders shuttered their shops and staged a protest demonstration. Scores of other people also gathered at Steel Bagh Mor near the hospital and protested by keeping the body (in a pickup) in the middle of the road. They threw traffic out of gear by burning tyres on Ferozepur Road and chanted slogans against police and local parliamentarians for their alleged apathy.

Coincidentally an event being organised by the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau to think through the issue of child abduction and killing cases had to be cut short when the news about the incident spread.

The District Bar Association (DBA) announced boycott of court proceedings on Wednesday (today) to express solidarity with the bereaved family and build pressure on the law-enforcement agencies to arrest the killer.

CYLINDER BLAST: Two persons died on Tuesday a day after they were injured in a cylinder blast.

Four members of a family were injured in a cylinder blast at Basti Sandoksir. Nazia Bibi, 25, Ali, 20, Babar, 30, and Farah Bibi, 15, were taken to the DHQ hospital from where they were referred to Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital.

Nazia Bibi and Ali succumbed to their injuries.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2018