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Rangers take control of Kasur as Punjab police fails to restore order

F.P. Report

KASUR: The Punjab government deployed the paramilitary Rangers in Kasur on Thursday to restore order, as violent clashes continued between enraged protesters and the police in the city throughout the day over the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, and the killing of two protesters by Punjab police during the protest a day earlier.

As protests re-erupted in the city on Thursday, the house of ruling party PML-N lawmaker Naeem Safdar was ransacked by a furious mob, which burnt furniture and cars in rage. Police resorted to tear gas shelling and use of water cannon to disperse the protesters but failed to do so.

Police also failed to stop the protesters from ransacking the local government hospital.

Residents continued to protest at various locations across the city, including Kali Pul Chowk, whereas the Ferozepur Road, linking Kasur to nearby towns and cities, remained blocked by the time this report was made. Moreover, protest demonstrations against the incident were taken out across the country, from Peshawar to Karachi.

Markets in Kasur rema-ined closed in protest against the incident. Similarly, sporadic demonstrations were held outside the District Headquarters Hospital where protesters ransacked the premises, which was left devoid of equipment as well as security and medical staff.

Meanwhile, the funeral of the two protesters killed by the police firing, Shoaib and Mohammad Ali, was held in the city’s college ground.

The funeral prayers, attended by a large number of locals, traders and political leaders, were led by the fiery leader of the religio-political outfit Tehreek-e-Labbaik Ya Rasoolullah (TLYR), Khadim Hussain Rizvi.

Two FIRs have been registered against 16 ‘unidentified’ policemen on the complaints of the slain protesters’ relatives. The FIRs have been registered under murder charges.

Meanwhile, the autopsy examination of the seven-year-old child found dead in Kasur suggested that she had been raped and sodomized before being strangulated to death.

Zainab’s body was found in a trash heap in Kasur days after she went missing. According to District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Medico Legal Officer (MLO) Dr Quratulain Attique, the post-mortem examination revealed the child had died of strangulation while her hymen was ruptured. There was also evidence to suggest that the child had been sodomized.

The examination was conducted the same day Zainab’s body was found on Tuesday. According to the MLO, there were visible marks of torture on her face and congestion in her muscles while her tongue was badly bruised and injured as it was pressed between her teeth. She added that the hyoid bone was fractured, indicating strangulation.

Dr Attique said an initial examination suggested she may have been dead for two to three days. Zainab went missing on January 4, suggesting that she may have been held captive by her abductors for two to four days before she was killed.

Although the MLO did not explicitly confirm that the minor was raped, findings in the autopsy suggest that she may have been sexually assaulted.

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