Hundreds of Pakistanis staged protests against police inaction after a 7-year-old girl was raped and murdered following several other similar attacks. Police found the body of Zainab Ansari in a garbage dumpster in the town of Kasur four days after her family reported her missing. She is the 12th child murdered within a 1.2-mile radius of Kasur within the past year.
Authorities said Zainab’s attacker abducted her outside a religious center where she was a student. Kasur police released grainy closed-circuit TV footage of the child holding the hand of her suspected killer, whose back was turned to the camera. An autopsy report concluded she was raped and strangled to death.
Protesters gathered across the province of Lahore demanding justice. Police on Sunday released a sketch of the suspected serial killer, who is also wanted for eight other similar attacks over the past two years. But her family remains worried. Zainab’s father, Ameen Ansari, told The Guardian the police didn’t do anything when family members first reported Zainab missing: “In Pakistan, security is for leaders, and we are just common insects.”
In 2015, authorities found that a pedophile gang in a nearby village of Hussain Khanwala abused up to 280 children for nearly a decade. Authorities transferred several police officials out of the region for failing to investigate complaints of missing children. —O.O.