Karachi: Hundreds of schoolchildren gathered outside the Karachi Press Club on Friday to protest against the growing cases of child rapes. They demanded that the perpetrators of this horrific crime be hanged.
The protest was organised by the Private School Management Association (PSMA), an independent body representing scores of private schools in the city.
“We are here to protest against the rape of a five-year-old girl in Lahore. We demand that justice be provided to her and the rapist be hanged,” said Sharfuzaman, the chairman of the PSMA.
Around a week ago, a five-year-old girl in Lahore was gang raped and then left outside a hospital where she is undergoing treatment.
“We can’t let these beasts roam free in our society. They must meet a horrible fate,” Sharfuzaman demanded.
The students in their school uniforms held placards with “We want justice” and “Hang the criminals” inscribed on them.
A student participating in the protest said rape cases of minors had increased in the past few months. “They include both little boys and girls. We want to draw the government’s attention towards this social evil.”
This week, a 10-year-old girl was reportedly raped in Faisalabad and an eight-year-old boy sexually assaulted in Dera Ismail Khan.
The protest also served as an awareness campaign for students, a message they could take home to their siblings.
“Children should be very careful. They should not talk to strangers. Also, parents should be vigilant,” said Sharfuzaman.
In her statement, the five-year-old rape survivor said she was offered candies and an ice-cream by strangers. Later they took her in their car to a house.
“A general pattern among these rape cases is that the children are picked up outside their homes in the neighbourhood while they are playing. Children should be taught basic safety rules at home. Also, small children should not be allowed to leave home unaccompanied by a parent,” said Sharfuzaman.