Pakistan has hanged a man convicted for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Ansari in January. The Zainab rape and murder case made headline globally in January when her body was found on a heap of rubbish in Kasur city of Pakistan.
Imran Ali who was guilty of raping and murdering Zainab was executed in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat prison early on Wednesday, police said.
Zainab’s father and other relatives were present at the time of hanging to witness it themselves.
Zainab’s father, Amin Ansari, talked to media after the execution and said that he was “satisfied”.
He had earlier requested the authorities for a public hanging to make it a lesson for people but the Lahore high court rejected his appeal.
The Zainab murder case had sparked outrage and protests in all parts of the country earlier this year. Six-year-old Zainab, a resident of Kasur city, went missing on 4 January. Her body was found after five days in a rubbish dump.
The medical reports confirmed that the girl was subjected to rape before the murder. Police said there had been several similar child murders in the past two years in Kasur but her killing proved to be a tipping point.
The police found the culprit based on a CCTV footage in which Zainab could be seen going with a man. Later, a DNA test of all men in the area was conducted after which Imran Ali was identified. He was arrested on 23 January. The police investigation revealed that Imran was the man behind other 12 similar cases from the same city.
He was sentenced to death in February for Zainab’s rape and murder. He filed an appeal against the verdict but it was rejected. Earlier this month president of Pakistan Arif Alvi rejected his plea for mercy.
His hanging has started a new debate in Pakistan: whether the government should make the hangings public to give a lesson to others or the country need some other measures to prevent abuse cases against children and women. According to a six-month report of an NGO Saahil working on child abuse, from January to June 2018 more than 2300 child abuse cases had been reported in all newspapers of Pakistan.