A seven-year-old girl was raped and brutally murdered allegedly by some of her close relatives in Bhittaiabad area of Karachi's Gulistan-i-Jauhar neighbourhood, police said on Wednesday.

SSP (Investigation) East Zone, Abid Hussain Qaimkhani, told Dawn the police have arrested three suspects who happen to be relatives of the girl after registering a case against them.

During an initial probe, police gathered significant clues regarding the torture inflicted on the girl before her death, while DNA samples of the suspects and the victim were being taken to ascertain the identity of the person who subjected her to rape, the officer said.

Read: 'Why is DNA evidence not given weight in Pakistani courts?'

The minor girl's body was brought to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for post-mortem examination on Tuesday night.

Medico-legal officer Dr Zakia Khurshid confirmed to media representatives on Tuesday night that the girl was raped and there were torture marks on her body. There were also burn wounds caused by a cigarette.

The victim's death was caused by strangulation, the doctor revealed.

SSP Qaimkhani said the girl had been living at the home of her uncle in Bhittaiabad after her father's death around one-and-a-half years earlier.

The senior officer who visited the crime scene on Wednesday told Dawn that as per the police probe, there is only one man in the house who consumes cigarette and he happens to be the brother of the victim's brother-in-law.

The police also recovered a pipe from the house which was allegedly used to beat the victim.

The SSP revealed that one of the detained suspects had "confessed" to beating the minor girl but police were making efforts with the help of modern technology to ascertain the identity of the suspect who sexually assaulted her.

Sachal police have registered a first information report (FIR) against four suspects on a complaint filed by the victim's brother who arrived in Karachi from Jacobabad. The case has been registered under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 376 (punishment for rape) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Three of the nominated suspects have been arrested while a fourth suspect is absconding, SSP Qaimkhani said.

The girl's brother will take her coffin for burial to their native place in Jacobabad.

The incident is an uneasy reminder of the horrific rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Ansari in Kasur earlier this year, when #JusticeforZainab became the rallying cry in a nationwide drive to end violence against children.

An anti-terrorism court had sentenced convict Imran Ali to death on four counts in the Zainab murder case, while the Lahore High Court and Supreme Court had dismissed his appeal against the trial court's verdict.

Opinion

What a tangled web

What a tangled web

So poorly kept is this secret about the opposition’s real hopes and no plans that even the government has figured it out.
Climate threat over South Asia
Updated 26 Oct 2021

Climate threat over South Asia

Water shortages, drought, floods or landslides and tsunamis are not constrained by national boundaries.
Losing heritage
26 Oct 2021

Losing heritage

It’s not a good idea to turn Mohatta into a college.
The long impasse
Updated 25 Oct 2021

The long impasse

Management of Pakistan-India tensions is likely to remain the main focus of sporadic backchannel efforts.

Editorial

Perfect in every way
Updated 26 Oct 2021

Perfect in every way

GLORIOUS. Gratifying. Liberating. Pakistan’s thumping victory over India in their opening fixture of the T20 World...
26 Oct 2021

Balochistan CM’s exit

ON Sunday, Jam Kamal Khan Alyani’s name was added to the long list of chief ministers of Balochistan who ...
Minister’s odd logic
26 Oct 2021

Minister’s odd logic

THE government’s contradictions and confusion appear to have no end when it comes to dealing with the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.
25 Oct 2021

Party to a vile campaign

THE PTI government’s hostility towards the media and its intolerance for dissent is well known. The target of ...
Financial crisis
Updated 25 Oct 2021

Financial crisis

DESPITE having progressed to ‘very good step’ and being ‘close to concluding the agreement’ a few days back,...
25 Oct 2021

Morals and Pemra

TIME and again, Pemra has come under fire for issuing arbitrary instructions to TV channels on matters ranging from...