LAHORE: Suspect Imran, who was arrested for the rape and murder of minor Zainab earlier this week, will be presented in a special anti-terrorism court (ATC) today in Lahore.
ATC judge Sheikh Sajjad will conduct hearing in the case.
Seven-year-old Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house on January 4 in Kasur. Her body was recovered from a garbage heap on January 9, with the post-mortem of the minor revealing she had been raped before being murdered.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday confirmed that the arrested suspect, Imran, is the murderer of Zainab and referred to him as a “serial killer”.
“Zainab’s murderer has been caught. His name is Mohammad Imran. He is a 24-year-old resident of Kasur…he is a serial killer,” Shehbaz told a press conference.
The chief minister was accompanied by the victim’s father and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah during the press conference in Lahore.
“He [Imran] admitted to all his crimes in a polygraph test that was conducted after his DNA matched the samples,” said the chief minister.
“Government officials constantly struggled,” he said. “These combined efforts bore fruit and got the killer arrested.”
Shehbaz congratulated Punjab’s cabinet committee, Law Minister Sanaullah, IGP Punjab, additional chief secretary home, chief secretary, and other intelligence officials including Military Intelligence (MI) and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) over the arrest.
“I am most thankful to DG Forensic Lab who profiled 1,150 DNAs to find the killer.”
Elaborating on the DNA profiling and subsequent match with Imran, Shehbaz said he was informed about the procedure a night ago.
“I requested them [officials] to not discuss it,” he said. “I visited [the lab] next day after morning prayers and had it done in front of me and it was a 100 percent match.”
He further said that the entire nation, including Zainab’s parents, had prayed due to which such results were achieved.
“I promised Zainab’s parents that my team and I will do everything in our power to catch the culprit and we delivered within 14 days.”
Shehbaz further said that the case will be prosecuted in an ATC, and assured that all legal formalities will be completed.
“Zainab’s father wants the man to be publicly hanged but the court will decide the future course of this case,” he said.
Shehbaz also requested the chief justice of the Lahore High Court to ensure that the hearing of the case is heard day and night, without any delay.
“Even if we have to amend the laws we should do so; the way Zainab was crushed like a flower, the law should crush the killer in the same manner.”
Satisfied with case proceedings, says Zainab’s father
The victim’s father expressed his contentment at the proceedings of the case in the press conference.
He said the joint efforts of government officials had helped in catching the criminal who had murdered his daughter.
“I thank DIG ISI, MI, CTD, other agencies, and the forensic lab for their combined efforts and all my acquaintances for their help,” said Zainab’s father.
“He [Imran] was traced after combined efforts. I was in Saudia Arabia when I came to know that my daughter was missing,” he said. “When I came to Pakistan, I appealed to the chief of army staff and chief justice of Pakistan.”
“I had reservations regarding the case’s proceedings earlier, but the joint investigation team (JIT) worked [and delivered results], and I am thankful to the people involved.”
The jacket that led to the suspect
A jacket owned by Imran was among the evidence that helped the police to narrow down on the suspect, revealed a BBC report.
The CCTV video which went viral showed the suspect wearing a zip-up jacket having two giant buttons at either side of the jacket top. However, the CCTV footage did not clearly show the jacket’s colour.
The police nonetheless carried out a raid at the suspect’s house where a black jacket with a similar design was found. Imran was eventually arrested as the prime accused after his DNA matched with the sample collected from the site where Zainab’s body was dumped.
According to the report, the suspect’s mother aided the police in tracking him down after his DNA samples matched.
After the police arrested Imran, the suspect reportedly confessed to murdering five minor girls in an under-construction site and dumping three of the bodies in a garbage heap.