RAWALPINDI: The murder of an eight-year-old domestic help has sparked outrage on social media with people demanding justice for the minor girl who was allegedly tortured to death by her employers for accidentally setting their exotic parrots free.
Zahra, a domestic worker at a household in Rawalpindi, was brought to the Begum Akhtar Rukhsana Memorial Hospital on Sunday in an injured state by her employer. According to the police, the suspect admitted that he and his wife had beaten Zahra after she let his “expensive pet parrots escape from their cage”.
Zahra succumbed to her injuries soon after she was brought to the hospital and both her employers were arrested the same day. They were remanded into police custody until June 6.
The first information report (FIR), that was registered in Rawat police station on behalf of the station house officer (SHO) soon after the victim was brought to the hospital and was still alive, said that she had injuries on her face, hands, below her rib cage and legs.
The FIR further stated that she also had wounds on her thighs which suggested that she might have been sexually assaulted. Police have sent samples for forensic examination to confirm if an assault took place and are yet to receive a report.
The report was filed under Sections 302 (punishment for qatl-i-umd [intended murder]), 376 (punishment of rape) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).
Zahra’s body was handed over to her family after a post-mortem examination, which revealed that the victim had died due to her injuries.
The girl hailed from Punjab’s Kot Addu city and was employed by the couple four months ago to take care of their one-year-old child, police said. When employing her, the suspect had promised to provide her an education.
The incident has reignited a discussion over the exploitation of minors and child labour laws in Pakistan.
Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman, in response to a tweet, vowed to take the case up, adding that child labour “has to stop”.
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) June 3, 2020