Zainab's killer gets death on four counts

Aaron Brown
February 18, 2018

A Pakistani court Saturday handed four death sentences to a man charged with raping and murdering a six-year-old girl, in a case that shocked the country and sparked major riots in his home district.

Zainab was found dead in a rubbish dump on January 9 in Kasur district near Lahore, in Punjab province, several days after her disappearance. Her death brought rampaging mobs onto the streets in search of her killer.

Imran Ali, 23, has been sentenced four times to capital punishment for kidnapping, rape, murder and terrorism, and to life imprisonment for unnatural Act with a minor, reported Punjab Attorney General Syed Ehtesham Qadir.

Reports revealed that Ali, 24, who is believed to be a "serial child killer", had been linked by police to the earlier murders and assaults of girls in the area.

"My daughter has gone, she will not come back, but I want to save daughters of other people", he said, according to the AP.

In one of the highest-profile court cases in Pakistan, dozens of witnesses testified against Ali during the trial. He will be tried for the rest of the cases later.

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Ehtesham Qadir, the public prosecutor, said while Imran has the right to appeal, the verdict can not be challenged since Imran confessed to eight similar attacks, including Zainab's.

The girl was kidnapped from near her aunt's house in Kasur on January 4 and her body was found five days later. The appearance of body, whose examination determined that he had suffered sexual abuse, unleashed a wave of violent protests in which two people died, and demonstrations and acts in or parts of country. CCTV footage shows her being led away by a man dressed in white.

Legal experts pointed out that despite the ATC verdict, the convict Imran Ali is granted right to appeal against the decision.

Ali was also fined Rs 20 lakh for sodomy and hiding the body of Zainab and disrespecting her body by throwing it in the trash heap, reported Pakistan Today.

In 2015, police uncovered what they called a pedophilia ring responsible for the abuse of hundreds of local children.

Almost 10 cases of child abuse a day are reported in Pakistan, according to Sahil, an organisation that works on child protection.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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