KASUR: A wave of anguish gripped Chunian tehsil as violent protests erupted on Wednesday – a day after police recovered the bodies of three minor boys believed to have been raped before murder.
Mobs let loose their anger by ransacking a police station, DSP’s office, a petrol pump and a hospital.
Most traders observed shutter-down strike and joined the protesters and the lawyers also boycotted court proceedings to express their solidarity with the bereaved families.
Punjab IGP Arif Nawaz suspended from service Chunian circle DSP Naeem Ahmed Virk and SHO Irfan Gill after police recovered the bodies of three minor boys who had gone missing three months ago. Police remain clueless about another missing boy and a team has been constituted for his recovery.
People of Pir Jahanian village and surrounding areas took to the street after the burial of minor Faizan. No political figure or representative of the government attended the funeral.
Hundreds of people including the relatives of the children staged a protest demonstration near Baldia Hall on Kutchery Road that they blocked by burning tyres for about five hours. The protesters led by Muhammad Ramzan had held placards inscribed with anti-govt slogans and also clubs and stones.
Later, the protesters besieged the Chunian city police station and pelted it with stones, damaging the doors and windows.
Meanwhile, more than 200 protesters turned towards the DSP office nearby and threw stones. Police preferred to avoid resistance.
In another protest that took place on Chhanga Manga Road, charged protesters attacked the petrol pump and outhouse of an MPA.
Simultaneously, a group of agitators attacked the emergency ward of the THQ hospital and forced the staffers to close it. The protesters ransacked the ward.
At Allahabad about 20 kilometres from Chunian, the protesters blocked Deepalpur Road and raised slogans expressing solidarity with the bereaved families. They said they would continue their protest till the arrest of the suspects.
APP reported that Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat on the directions of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, visited Chunian to meet the affected families.
Additional Chief Secretary Home Syed Ali Murtaza, IGP Arif Nawaz and Lahore Commissioner Asif Bilal Lodhi accompanied the minister.
Kasur has been rocked by ghastly incidents of rape and killing of children in the last few years. In January 2018, six-year-old Zainab Ansari was found dead on a trash heap near Shahbaz Khan Road five days after she went missing. Hers was the 12th such incident to have occurred within a 10-kilometre radius in Kasur over a period of one year. Her death sparked nationwide protests and outrage.
The prime suspect, Imran Ali, had been arrested on Jan 23 and on June 12, the Supreme Court turned down his appeal against the death sentence.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2019