Prime accused for rape, murder of two-year-old girl in Charsadda arrested

Police have arrested the main accused in the rape and murder of a minor girl in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Charsadda district, it emerged on Monday.

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The chief minister’s adviser on information, Kamran Bangash, and provincial Law Minister Sultan Muhammad Khad confirmed the development at a press conference in Peshawar.

On Saturday, the body of a two-and-a-half-year-old girl, Zainab, was found in the fields in Daudzai area of Peshawar, close to Charsadda district. A medical report had confirmed that the minor was sexually assaulted before being stabbed to death.

“It was a blind case and police resolved the case in a week by arresting the prime accused,” Bangash told reporters. Police have identified the accused as the victim’s 45-year-old neighbour.

Bangash said the accused sexually assaulted the two-and-a-half-year-old before killing her and dumping her body in the fields at a distance of two kilometres from the village.

District Police Officer Muhammad Shoaib said the culprit had confessed to the crime during interrogation and officials had also recovered the murder weapon, the victim’s shoes and other belongings on the information provided by the accused.

He said police were currently investigating the incident and the accused would be presented before the court for his physical remand. The DPO added that more than 350 people were interrogated during the investigation.

Speaking to media, a police officer investigating the case said after killing the minor, the accused informed the prayer leader of a local mosque about the body’s whereabouts.

“The accused informed the prayer leader that he had spotted a body in the fields,” the officer said on condition of anonymity, adding that the prayer leader then informed the family and the police.

The murder and rape of the minor had sparked outcry in the country as politicians, lawyers and civil society groups dema­nded immediate justice and exemplary punishment for perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Several hashtags had also started trending on Twitter to express outrage over unabated cases of abuse and murder of children in the country. Photos of the two-year-old’s body were circulated on social media with many users comparing the incident to the 2018 rape and murder of eight-year-old Zainab Amin in Kasur.

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