GILGIT: The police on Thursdayarrested 12 people on suspicion of involvement in the rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl in Ghizer area of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The police said the girl was found dead in the washroom of her house in Ishkoman valley.

They said the family claimed that the girl had committed suicide but the postmortem report prepared by the Chatorkhand civil hospital revealed that she was strangled after being raped.

The police said they had begun investigation after registering a case under sections 302 and 376 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

They said teams led by Ghizer SP Abdul Majeed had begun search for the culprits.

Also in the day, Gilgit-Baltistan police DIG Mian Saeed visited the girl’s house, met her parents and promised them the early dispensation of justice.

He said the police had begun investigation along scientific lines, so the culprits would be arrested within hours.

Mr Saeed said 12 suspects had been arrested and their samples had been collected for DNA and forensic tests.

He urged the residents to help police arrest the culprits.

Meanwhile, GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid took notice of the case and directed the relevant authorities to use available resources for a transparent investigation into it and make findings public at the earliest.

In an official statement issued here, the chief minister said the culprits would be given exemplary punishments.

He said all steps would be taken to ensure the protection of public life, property and sanctity in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Opposition Leader in the GB Assembly Amjad Hussain condemned the incident and said it was alarming to note that an underage girl was sexually abused and brutality killed in the region.

He demanded the early arrest of the culprits and their trial under the anti-terrorism law.

Published in Dawn, June 18th, 2021

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