A sessions court in Faisalabad on Tuesday sentenced a man to death for the rape and murder of a minor girl.
The convict, identified as Abdul Razzak, was found guilty of abducting the 8-year-old girl on July 2, 2018, subjecting her to rape, and dumping her body in the Razabad neighbourhood of Faisalabad.
Police had arrested the convict while he was trying to flee the country at Lahore airport.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Inam Elahi today handed death sentence to Razzak on three counts and also fined him Rs3.5 million.
The trial of the case lasted eight months.
The lawyer representing the deceased child's family told DawnNewsTV that the convict was a repeat offender and had previously been accused of sexually assaulting another minor girl.
Rise in child abuse cases
A report released by the NGO Sahil had revealed last August that cases of child abuse increased by 32 per cent in the first six months of 2018 compared to the first half of 2017.
The report found that a total of 2,322 child abuse cases were reported by newspapers in all four provinces, as well as Islamabad, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. In comparison, 1,764 such incidents were reported from January to June 2017.
One of the authors of the report, Mamtaz Gohar had told Dawn that although child abuse cases were expected to fall in the wake of the Zainab rape and murder case, they had unfortunately increased.
“However, another view is that the Zainab murder case gave victims’ families courage to speak out rather than hide incidents of sexual abuse. The good thing is that, soon after that case, a drastic change has been noticed in the attitude and behaviour of families towards such cases,” he said.
Imran Ali, who was convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur earlier in 2018, was executed in October.