Pakistani protesters demand action after rape, murder of 7-year-old girl

World Today

Pakistani students light candles during a protest rally to condemn the rape and killing of Zainab Ansari, an 8-year-old girl, last week in Kasur, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, in Lahore, Pakistan. Anees Ansari, Zainab’s father, accused the police of being slow to respond when his daughter went missing. Two people were killed and three others were wounded in clashes between angry Kasur residents and police after protesters enraged over her death attacked a police station in the city. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Pakistani officials are offering more than $90,000 for information in the rape and murder of a young girl.

Seven-year-old Zainab Ansari disappeared while walking to a religion class near her home.

The crime has shocked and outraged the nation, drawing crowds into the streets to demand action.

The local police chief has been fired, and three police officers, who fired on the protesters, have been arrested.

CGTN’s Danial Khan has the latest from Islamabad.

Kasur witnessed huge protests after the body of Zainab, who went missing last week, was found dumped in a trash pile.

Protesters took to the streets to demand action from the government. Some turned to violence, setting fire to cars they passed. Three people were killed during clashes with police.

“This is the failure of the government,” complained one protester. “It has been unable to provide security for our children. We do not want such an inadequate system.”

Zainab went missing Jan. 4, as she was heading to a class at a religious school near her home.

Her parents had gone to Saudi Arabia on a religious pilgrimage. Zainab had been living with a maternal aunt.  Her parents returned to the country on Wednesday, one day after the girl’s body was found.

“I call upon the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the head of the army,” said the girl’s father, Muhammad Amin Ansari. “Everyone’s daughters are the same. They should pay attention to this and give us justice.”

Zainab’s brutal murder is twelth such case to occur within Kasur over the last year. And the city made international headlines in 2015 when officials arrested a gang of pedophiles who were running a child sex ring in Kasur.

Officials believe gang members abducted and sexually assaulted at least 280 children in the area. Outrage over the way police have handled the case has been been growing across the country.

The Lahore High Court’s Chief Justice, Punjab’s Chief Minister, the Senate, the Chief Justice of Pakistan and the army chief have all spoken out on social media about the case.

As riots continue in Kasur, citizens across the country are now looking to the Supreme Court  to provide justice for Zainab, as well as for the three protesters killed when clashes broke out between police and demonstrators venting their outrage over her murder.