9th October 2020

By Arshad Mohmand


CHARSADDA

28-month-old Zainab’s mother has been suffering seizures since the day her daughter was found murdered after being sexually assaulted some three days ago in Charsadda district. Her entire family is in shock. Zainab’s uncle, Shamshirullah, said that the girl was playing with her sister right outside their house on Wednesday, 7th of October, when an unknown assailant abducted her. A day later, her mutilated body was discovered in some nearby fields.

She had been stripped off her clothes and her belly had been split open with a blade.

After the incident, Zainab’s family moved in with some relatives. They now live in fear for their other seven children after what has transpired, and are under immense emotional stress. In their now empty house, the girl’s toys lay scattered about.

Zainab’s father Akhtar Munir says that his three daughters and four sons do not want to go back home for fear that what happened to their little sister might happen to them as well.

“We demand that the police arrest the culprit immediately and bring him before the court. We want the death penalty for him. Here it is common that the accused is released early, and then they are able to escape punishment after coming to a settlement.”

According to the medical report, Zainab was sexually assaulted before she was cut open with a sharp blade. Police have launched an investigation by scouring the area for evidence, and have begun compiling a record of all residents in the immediate area.

District Police Officer (DPO) Charsadda Muhammad Shoaib Khan stated said that so far 70 suspects have been questioned while a few others have also been detained under suspicion. According to figures released by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police, 185 cases of child sexual abuse were reported last year, in which four children were killed after being raped.

This year, 182 cases have been reported across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so far in which four children were killed after being raped. 235 accused named in registered cases of child sexual abuse have been arrested.

According to the police, the greatest number of incidents (34) have been reported in Dera Ismail Khan, with Peshawar following with 26, and Mardan with 19.