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Zainab killer to be arrested within 36 hours: LHC

13 January, 2018

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LAHORE: A division bench of the Lahore High Court on Friday ordered the Punjab inspector general of police (IGP) to arrest without fail the killer of innocent girl Zainab within 36 hours.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah observed that the gruesome murder of Zainab was a clear evidence of police failure which raised serious questions over their performance in maintaining law and order and controlling the crime.

The bench had summoned IGP Arif Nawaz Khan while hearing a petition moved by a lawyer, Shaheen Pirzada, seeking direction to the government for proper legislating to control incidents of children’s abduction, rape and killing.

The IGP appeared and submitted initial report in the murder case, while admitting the negligence of police department in arresting the culprit. He informed the court that different police teams had been constituted for arrest of the culprit.

The IGP told the court that a total of 11 incidents of rape with minor girls had occurred during the last two years in the district. He said 227 suspects were arrested during this period and DNA of 67 of them was got examined. He said that the DNA of one of the arrested persons matched in six cases of rape with minor girls.

The petitioner pointed out that there was no proper law to control such incidents which are increasing day by day and the culprits were roaming free without any fear of being arrested. He sought directions to amend the law to award exemplary punishment to all such offenders against kids.

The IGP informed the court that the police was working with complete honesty and assured that
the suspect will be nabbed at all costs.

The chief justice also summoned the complete details of similar cases related to children in Punjab.

Zainab was kidnapped from Road Kot area in Kasur while her parents were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. The girl was strangled to death after being raped and her body was recovered from a garbage heap near Zaki Adda a few days later.

The incident sparked countrywide protests and riots and two people were killed as police opened fire on the protesters in Kasur. A shutter down strike was observed in Kasur and all the markets and educational institutions remained closed for two days.

On Friday, Punjab government spokesperson Malik Ahmad Khan claimed that the suspect in the Zainab murder case is a serial killer who kidnaps and kills minor girls.

Addressing a press conference in Kasur alongside Punjab Education Minister Rana Mashood and Health Minister Khawaja Imran Nazir, Khan said the culprit will be brought to book. He also condemned the killing of two protesters due to police firing on the protesters Wednesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Rana Mashood said they were hoping for a breakthrough in the case after arrest of a few suspects. He said Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif was personally monitoring the case. He appealed to the protesters to not damage property during their protests over the incident.

The Punjab government also changed the head of the joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe the murder and rape of Zainab.

According to a government notification, Additional IG Abu Bakr Khuda Baksh has been replaced by Multan Regional Police Officer DIG Muhammad Idrees.

Zainab’s father, Ameen, had objected to the inclusion of the previous JIT head in a press conference on Thursday.

On Friday, members of the JIT, including Idrees, reached the Kasur DPO office and held meetings with local officials.

Idrees was quoted as saying that the investigation into the case has begun and will be wrapped up soon.

Talking to media on Friday, Zainab’s father Ameen demanded the government to punish those responsible for the horrific incident. He also called for punishment for those police officials who killed protesters in their firing. “If the culprits are punished publically then it will serve as a deterrent for preventing similar cases,” he stated.

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