Lahore: Doctors performed two procedures to save the life of a five-year-old girl who was brutally gang-raped in the capital of Pakistan`s Punjab province even as the Supreme Court Chief Justice took notice of the heinous crime.
The girl, dumped near Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Lahore yesterday after being raped by unidentified men, continues to be in a critical condition.
Doctors at Services Hospital, where the girl is being treated, performed two "minor" procedures to save her life, officials said.
"The girl is facing serious medical complications. She is unable to pass stool and urine," said a report by a three-member team of doctors that operated on her. The report said the girl was tortured by her attackers.
A doctor treating the girl, who did not want to be named, said: "We hope the girl`s condition will improve in a few days."
Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftiqar Chaudhry took suo moto notice of the crime and ordered the Punjab Police to submit a report on the incident.
Police have rounded up five suspects from Mughalpura area. They are going through footage from CCTV cameras to identify the person who dumped the girl in a forested area near Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Lahore police chief Chaudhry Shafique said two teams had been formed to find the rapists. "We will soon arrest the accused," he claimed.
The girl, the youngest of nine siblings, was playing outside her house at Ghausia Colony in Mughalpura - a thickly populated impoverished neighbourhood - on Thursday evening when she went missing.
Her family made announcements through loudspeakers in mosques and carried out a search but were unable to trace her.
They also approached Mughalpura police station but officials refused to register a complaint. Yesterday morning, a security guard found the girl lying unconscious with blood stains on her clothes in a forested area near Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
He took her into the hospital, where she was being treated when local news channels started airing the news. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif then took action and directed officials to provide the best medical care to the girl.
She was shifted to Services Hospital. Her family learnt about the crime from news channels.
"The Chief Justice should hang the rapists publicly at the very spot where they committed the crime," said the girl`s mother, who was in a state of disbelief and shock.
"I want the Chief Minister not to spare the men who did this to my child," said her father as he tried to muster courage to talk to reporters.
He said police officials were initially not ready to register a rape case but did so only after their superiors intervened.
The brutal crime has been condemned by people across Pakistan. Civil society groups and political parties have demanded that authorities should arrest the rapists and award them exemplary punishment.
"We have turned a blind eye to such incidents and are not ready to accept that such behaviour is prevalent in our society. It is happening even to dead (girls)," said Moniza Hasan, a parliamentarian.
She said rapists should not be allowed to go free and people should raise their voice against such crimes. Civil society activist and legislator Faiza Malik told PTI, "We should come out of the state of sab acha hai (all is well) and accept the fact that rape exists in our society. We should raise our voice for a strong judicial system so that rapists cannot escape strict punishment."
Malik asked parents to take better care of their children. "It is unfortunate that children are left alone by their parents and they fall easy prey to perpetrators," she said.