A worldwide call for justice has sparked across social media after the rape and murder of a seven year girl in Pakistan set off deadly riots and two civilians who were protesting have been killed.
The body of seven-year-old Zainab was found in a garbage dumpster in a town of Kasur, northeast Pakistan four days after her family had reported her missing, according to Pakistan paper Dawn.
The incident has prompted outrage and riots across Kasur, with residents blaming police for not doing enough to prevent a rash of abductions, sexual assaults and murders. Two protesters were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators who attempted to storm into police headquarters.
Police in Kasur have recorded 12 similar murders over the past two years, and believe at least five of the cases can be linked to the same person, the BBC reports. DNA samples have reportedly been taken from dozens of potential suspects, but no one has yet been arrested.
Zainab’s family told local media they believe police failed to adequately respond after they reported their daughter missing on Jan. 4. Zainab was last seen on her way to Koran recital class.
A relatives of the missing girl, and not the authorities, who reportedly tracked down CCTV footage that showed Zainab being led by the hand down a road by an unknown man.
“If the police would have acted immediately, the culprit would have been caught,” Zainab’s father told local news channel
A month before Zainab’s disappearance, a nine-year-old girl disappeared from Kasur’s city center. The girl managed to escape her abductor and returned home. Police in Kasur said such incidents are happening regularly, hitting the city about once every other month.
Zainab’s case has caught the attention of actors, athletes and activists, with the the social media tag #JusticeforZainab now trending worldwide. Pakistani Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai recently joined the family’s call for justice.