LAHORE - Shaken by continuous police raids, dozens of people staged a protest at Shalimar Chowk on Saturday. They demanded immediate release of several men detained in connection with the brutal assault on five-year-old girl in the Mughalpura area.
The protesters were chanting slogans against the police for conducting ruthless raids in the said area, spreading fear and terror in the area.
The demonstrators blocked the road by setting the tyres on fire, creating worst type of traffic mess in the densely populated vicinity. They were of the view that the police arresting dozens of innocent men instead of searching the genuine culprit. They stated the police officials were harassing the residents by operating illegal raids to conceal their own negligence and incompetence. “What are they (cops) doing, if they cannot arrest the criminals involved in this high-profile case. Where is the government?” said Muhammad Ahmad, a local shopkeeper.
One of the protesters, Mushtaq, alleged the police are minting money by harassing the innocent people since the police failed to arrest the culprit. He claimed the cops released some people after taking huge bribe from the innocent families.
A couple of weeks ago, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directed the police to arrest the rapist(s), stating that it would be a test case for the law enforcing agency. A senior police official said the investigators interrogated several suspects in connection with the assault but no arrest has been made yet.
According to him, the cops had to release most of the suspects as the investigators failed to establish their involvement in the heinous crime. “We are investigating the suspects but no one has been identified yet,” the official said.
Despite the lapse of more than 24 days, the police are still clueless and unable to identify the culprits, though investigators went through different footages taken from CCTV cameras. On the other hand, the condition of the rape victim was said to be stable at the hospital and she is likely to be discharged from the intensive care unit anytime this week. The youngest of nine siblings was found dumped in the parking lot of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on September 13.