LAHORE  - After being raped, a twelve-year-old girl was left unconscious outside her house in the populous Lower Mall locality on early Friday. The girl went missing from Hafeez Road on Thursday evening.

Daughter of a poverty-stricken labourer, the girl was admitted to Mayo Hospital’s emergency ward on Friday morning, where she could not regain her consciousness till filing of this report. The medical report also confirmed that the child was raped repeatedly.

Her father told the police that she went to a nearby shop on Hafeez Road to buy milk on Thursday evening but did not came back home. Until Friday morning, parents remained unaware about the whereabouts of the child.

“We rushed to the neighbours and we also searched her in the locality when she did not come home after two hours or so,” the father of the ill-fated girl told reporters outside the Mayo Hospital. According to him, announcements were made through mosques’ loudspeakers but to no avail. The father later visited the police station concerned and informed the police about the missing girl. The local police registered a report but did nothing to find the child.

A close relative of the girl found her unconscious outside the house in the morning and made hue and cry to attract the attention of the nearby residents. The incident of cruelty shocked the entire locality, as a good number of people gathered outside the hospital and staged a protest demonstration against the terrible assault, demanding immediate arrest the rapist.

One of the protesters, Yameen, says “the criminal involved in this inhuman act must be hanged in public.”

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident after the local news channels flashed the story. The CM has also sought a report from the provincial police chief and directed the police to arrest the culprits.

A police officer told this reporter late Friday that no arrest had so far been made in this case. He, however, added that police were using all resources to apprehend the culprits. According to an investigator, the rapist appeared to be familiar with the child. “The statement of the girl may lead to the criminals. We will record her statement once she regains consciousness,” he added. The Lower Mall police have registered a kidnapping case against an unidentified man and are investigating.

In September 2013, unidentified men gang-raped a five-year-old girl and fled after throwing her outside Lahore’s Ganga Ram Hospital before dawn. The then Chief Justice of Pakistan had taken notice of the incident and sought a report from the chief of the Punjab police. The CM had also strictly ordered the police to bring the criminals to justice but the investigators failed to unearth the rapists. No one is prosecuted in that case till date.

Last year, the Punjab police had revealed in an annual report that one female was assaulted sexually after every three hours and 40 minutes while one gang-rape incident occurred after every 45 hours and 38 minutes in 2013 in the province.