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Protests erupt after 8-year-old girl burnt alive after rape in Pakistan’s Punjab

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Lahore: An eight-year-old girl was burnt alive after being raped in Pakistan’s Punjab province, a brutal incident which triggered protests in the province.

A large number of people of Chichawatni, Sahiwal district, some 200-km from Lahore, held a demonstration and blocked the main GT Road for several hours to lodge their protest against the brutal incident.

After the assurance of police that claimed to have arrested a suspect, the protesters dispersed.

According to police, the grade-II student of the government girls high school Chichawatni went missing on Sunday after she left home to buy some sweets from a grocery shop. When she did not return after a while, her family members and neighbours held a search.

They found her in a deserted street in an unconscious state with burns all over her body. Initially she was shifted to Tehsil Headquarters (THQ) Hospital Chichawatni from where she was brought to Lahore’s Jinnah Hospital.

“She succumbed to her burns on Wednesday as doctors could not save her life despite efforts,” Jinnah Hospital spokesman Dr Abdul Jabbar said. He said the girl had received more than 70 per cent burns.

Police official concerned Atif Ikram told reporters that police had arrested a suspect who is being interrogated. He said it was suspected that the girl was set on fire after being raped.

However, autopsy report would confirm it, he said, adding that an FIR has been registered against the suspected person(s).

There has been an upsurge in rape incidents especially in Punjab province in 2018. The murder of seven-year-old girl in Kasur district of Punjab earlier this year had shocked the whole nation.

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