LAHORE - A 9-year-old girl, who was found murdered at a house in the Walled City late Wednesday, was killed after being raped by unidentified men, police said on Thursday.

Police official Moaz Zafar said the autopsy report of the victim also confirmed that she was raped before murder. The police handed over the body to the family after the postmortem.

The deceased was identified by police as Ayesha, a resident of Said Mitha Bazaar inside Lohari Gate. She was living at her grandparents’ home since her mother had got divorce from the husband due to differences between the couple.

According to police, her mother had gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah a couple of weeks ago. The maternal uncle of the deceased contacted the police by phone after they discovered her body late Wednesday.

Muhammad Tariq Jameel told the police that his daughter was murdered by unidentified killers when she was staying at her grandparents’ home. He said that the killers strangled his daughter with a rope. There were also torture marks on the body parts of the victim, police investigators said.

The father of the victim while talking to reporters on Thursday demanded the police to bring the culprits to justice. “The killers of my daughter should be hanged publicly. We must be provided justice,” he said.

The Lohari Gate police registered a murder case against unidentified killers on the complaint father of the victim and launched investigation with no arrest made yet. SP (City police division) Moaz Zafar claimed that the police were working on the case and the criminals would be arrested very soon.

Meanwhile, Punjab chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar took strong notice of the horrific killing and ordered Punjab Police Inspector General Ajmad Saleemi to send back a detailed report of the incident. The CM also directed the police to bring the culprits to justice as early as possible. However, no arrest was made yet.

The incidents of child murders after rape are not rare in this province where police report hundreds of child rape cases every year. The latest child murder was reported by police in Lahore barely a few months after seven-year-old Zainab’s killer Ali Imran was hanged to death in the Kot Lakhpat jail. Zainab was found murdered after being raped in Kasur city early this year. Her killing had triggered outrage across the country with rights activists calling for adopting urgent safety measures to protect children from sexual abuse.