As Pakistan continues to reel from riots over the alleged rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Punjab province, a woman news anchor protested the incident by hosting her show with her daughter, according to several media reports.
According to a report in The Times of India, Samaa TV presenter Kiran Naz hosted a news bulletin with her daughter and delivered a statement on the events following the alleged abduction, rape and killing of Zainab Ansari.
"Today I'm not your host Kiran Naz. I'm a mother and that is why I'm sitting here with my daughter," Naz was quoted as saying by The Times of India report.
“It is said that the smaller the corpse, the heavier it feels. Today, a tiny corpse is lying on the streets of Kasur and the entire Pakistan is crushed under its weight... This day marks the funeral of humanity," she said, according to a report in The Indian Express.
CCTV footage purportedly showed Ansari, 8, being abducted last week outside her home in Kasur district. Her body was found in a rubbish dump on Tuesday, police said.
"The girl's body was found from a heap of garbage in Saddar area of the city," Regional Police Officer (Kasur) Zulffiqar Hameed said, adding the body was sent for autopsy.
"Initial autopsy report suggests that the girl was strangulated after rape," Hameed said. Ansari was staying with relatives while her parents had gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The police took four suspects into custody. "We are trying to identify the person who was seen taking the girl along in the footage," Hameed said.
Riots erupted in Kasur over police inaction after reports of the alleged rape and murder of the girl began circulating on social media.
The protesters pelted stones at the police station, offices of district police officer and district coordination officer in Kasur as the city observed a complete shut down. Police resorted to 'direct' and aerial firing to disperse the protesters, media reports said. "Two persons who suffered serious bullet injuries during the protest succumbed to their injuries," a rescue official said.
The murder has sparked outrage across Pakistan. Film and cricket stars have demanded the killer be caught and the military offered support to the police. Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah took notice of the murder and sought a report from the Punjab government.
Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif said he would personally monitor this case and would not rest till culprits were brought to justice. Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif asked his younger brother Shahbaz to immediately arrest the culprits and bring them to justice.
Ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) member Hina Butt submitted a privilege motion in the Punjab Assembly, seeking justice for 11 other minor girls who were killed after rape in Kasur and adjoining areas during the last year.
Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto termed the brutal rape and murder of the girl as "shocking and a slap on the face of Sharifdom (Sharif brothers)". Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, Maryam Nawaz and other politicians condemned the incident and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.
Test cricketers Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz said that it was unbelievable that this brutal incident took place in Pakistan. "Our thoughts are with the parents of the girl," they said and demanded immediate arrest of the culprits.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jan 11, 2018 16:27 PM