LAHORE - Two weeks after a nine-year-old girl was found dead in the Walled City, Lahore police are yet to find any leads about the killers. Some suspects have been grilled so far, but there has been no major breakthrough.

The latest victim of child abuse, identified as Ayesha, was the resident of Said Mitha Bazaar, Lohari Gate. This horrific killing was reported by police just one month after the killer and rapist of seven-year-old Zainab was hanged to death in Lahore’s Kot Lakhopat Jail.

Lahore’s Ayesha and Kasur’s Zainab were among several children who were killed by rapists in the Punjab province in 2018. Zainab’s rapist and murderer Ali Imran was sent to gallows in October last year, but rapists and killers of several other victims are yet to be brought to justice. Even if these criminals are identified and arrested by police, the chances are slim that the victims would get speedy justice due to one or another reason.

Hundreds of children were raped, and several victims were murdered by rapists during the previous year. The police investigators are struggling to identify and arrest the culprits in this province where the overall crime rate is also one the rise.

The latest police data reveals that incidents of murder, kidnapping, rape, and robberies have increased to an alarming level throughout the province.

According to police figures, at least 79,425 cases were registered in the category of crime against property from January to November as compared to 73,136 such cases reported by police during the same period during last year. Similarly, the police registered at least 47,028 cases in the category of crime against person this year as compared to 45,637 such cases reported during the same period in 2017.

The provincial police reported an overall 369, 742 cases of crime during the first 11 months of 2018 with substantial increase in the incidents of violent crimes. At least 44,281 cases are still under investigation while the police have failed to trace criminals behind no less than 19,433 cases.

Also, the police reported 121, 877 cases in the category of local and special laws violations while at least 121,412 cases of crime were registered by police under the head of “Miscellaneous Laws” during the first 11 months of this year.

The conviction rate however improved comparatively. At least 83,467 persons were convicted during the first 11 months of this year while last year at least 79, 633 persons had been convicted in various cases during the same period. Similarly, at least 64,623 suspects were acquitted during the first 11 months of this year against last year’s while 65,284.

MURDER: The incidents of murder also increased during the first 11 months of 2018 as compared to the previous year. At least 3,814 people were murdered across the province during the first 11 months of this year. However, the police had reported at least 3,722 murder cases during the corresponding period of 2017.

The police declared at least 117 murder cases as “untraceable” while 745 cases are still under investigation. Last year, police investigators were unable to solve many blind murder cases. In these blind murder cases, several victims were women and children who were found brutally murdered in different parts of the province.

ATTEMPTED MURDER: The province also witnessed a sizeable surge in the incidents of attempted murder registered during the first 11 months of this year if compared to the corresponding period of 2017. The provincial police registered 4,642 attempted murder cases this year against last year’s 4,075 such incidents.

HURT: The police, during the first 11 months of this year, reported at least 14,259 “Hurt” cases in the category of crime against person. However, the provincial police had reported 14,851 such cases during the first 11 months of 2017.

KIDNAPPING: The provincial police registered at least 13,765 abduction cases during the first eleven months of 2018 as compared to 12,736 kidnapping incidents reported during the corresponding period of 2017. Most of the victims were said to be women and young girls who were abducted by gunmen. At least 59 cases of kidnapping for ransom were also registered with the police during the first eleven months of this year. Last year, the police had reported 39 such cases during the same period.

RAPE/GANG-RAPE: At least 3,074 rape cases were reported by police during the first eleven months of this year while during the matching period of 2017 the police had reported 2,813 rape cases. Similarly, at least 184 cases of gang-rape were reported by police during the first 11 months of this year against 173 gang rape incidents registered with the police during the same period of 2017.

DACOITIES: The police, during the first eleven months of this year reported at least 728 cases of dacoities (involving five or more than five gunmen) against 636 such cases reported during the same period in 2017. At least 169 dacoity cases are still under investigation while police failed to identify criminals behind at least 61 dacoity cases.

ROBBERIES: The new police data shows that at least 12,847 armed robberies were reported during the first eleven months of this year against 11,397 such cases reported during the corresponding period of 2017. Similarly, at least 10,331 cases of burglary were reported by the police during the first 11 months of 2018 against 10, 120 such cases registered with the police during the same period in 2017.

THEFT: During the first 11 months of this year, the police registered 1,285 theft cases against 1,403 theft cases reported during the corresponding period of 2017.

The police data also shows a considerable increase in cattle-theft cases this year as compared to the previous year. At least 5,052 cattle-theft cases were registered with the police during the first 11 months of 2018 while the police had reported 4,594 such cases during the same period in 2017.

MOTOR VEHICLE SNATCHING: The police during the first 11 months of 2018 reported at least 17,353 cases of motor-vehicle-theft while during the same period in 2017 the police had reported 14,356 such cases. As far as the incidents of motor-vehicle-snatching are concerned, the police this year reported at least 3,236 cases against 3172 such incidents reported during the same period of 2017.