Autopsy reveals Zainab was raped, sodomised before being strangled

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LAHORE: A postmortem examination conducted on 8-year-old Zainab, whose body was recovered from a trash heap in Kasur days after she went missing, suggests she may have been raped and sodomised before being strangled to death.

According to reports, District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) Medico-Legal Officer (MLO) Dr Quratulain Attique stated that the examination revealed the minor girl had died of strangulation.

There were visible marks of torture on the child’s face, congestion in her muscles, and her tongue was badly bruised and injured as it was pressed between her teeth. She added that the broken bones indicated that she had been strangled.

Dr Attique said the postmortem examination was performed the same day Zainab’s body was recovered and an initial examination suggested she may have been dead for two to three days.

Zainab went missing on January 4, which means she may have been held captive by her abductors for two to four days before she was killed.

Although the MLO did not explicitly confirm that the minor was raped, findings in the autopsy suggest that she may have been sexually assaulted.

The minor’s hymen was ruptured, and there was also evidence to suggest the child had been sodomised. There was mud, faecal matter and blood found on her body, the MLO confirmed, and samples of semen, vaginal fluid and blood were collected from her body.

The samples have been sent to a lab in Lahore for testing, Dr Attique said, adding that the process of testing can take up to three months.

Dr Attique said that this is the fourth such case she has seen in the seven months she has been at DHQ Kasur. Of the four cases, only one child survived the ordeal. The findings in all cases were identical to those in Zainab’s case.

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