A Pakistani anti-terrorism court (ATC) has announced its verdict today regarding the rape and murder case of seven-year-old Zainab. The court gave orders for sentencing Imran Ali Naqshbandi to death, four times.
Imran Ali has been charged with kidnapping, for rape, murder, and under Section 7-ATA. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 1 million for an unnatural act with a minor. Four days after Zainab was reported missing, police found Zainab's body in a garbage dumpster in Kasur district near the eastern city of Lahore in mid-January.
After Zainab's murder, the country united for a nationwide protest against government's inaction and it also led to media campaign after years of him being on the loose. People confronted that this was the 12th incident which took place in a year. Police told that they had matched the DNA from eight girls' bodies, including the killer Imran, 24.
Police also identified that the killer was victim's neighbors and the CCTV footage of the same day showed the girl calmly walking with a man.
The government prosecutor Ehtisham Qadir Shah told to a news agency, “The court handed down death on four counts and life imprisonment to Imran Ali in the rape and murder of the little girl."
Authorities have also uncovered that there were several complaints about missing children since 2015 in Kasur. The authorities believe that there is a paedophile ring linked to a prominent local family. They have also convicted two other people in connection with that case, where hundreds of children in the district were abused.
An organisation which works for child protection , revealed that nearly 10 cases of child abuse a day is reported in Pakistan. The case has triggered the people in Pakistan, regarding teaching the children against how to guard against sex abuse, which is considered a taboo in Muslim society.