An eight-year-old girl was murdered after sexual assault in central Pakistan and her body was dumped in a trash bin, sparking a violent protest in the area and a nationwide outcry.
Police found the body in a trash dump in the city of Kasur in the province of Punjab on Tuesday, a week after she was kidnapped, local police chief Zulfikar Ahmed said Wednesday.
Ahmed stated that an autopsy suggested the girl was raped before being strangled to death at least five days ago.
He said: “There have been a dozen similar incidents in Kasur in past year in which minor girls were kidnapped, raped and killed.”
“All the cases have resemblances … it looks a lunatic serial killer is behind these incidents,” provincial government spokesman, Malik Ali said, citing an initial inquiry.
In 2015, the city of Kasur was in the global headlines when hundreds of videos of child molestation surfaced and police later arrested several members of a racket involved in selling child pornography to websites in Europe.
The latest incident has shocked the nation with political leaders, civil society activists, sportsmen and artists calling for action by the government to protect children and punish the perpetrators.
A hashtag seeking justice for the child was trending in Pakistan, where thousands of people were expressing their anger and shock.
Hundreds of angry protestors attempted to storm the offices of local administration and police stations in the area before offering funeral prayers for the child.