No clue found to Zainab’s killer, police admit before apex court

Police in preliminary report say every effort is being made to trace out the real culprits * JIT working day and night to identify, arrest the killer.

ISLAMABAD: In compliance with a suo motu notice taken by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, the Punjab police on Thursday submitted its preliminary report on the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur.

The report stated that every effort was being made to trace out the actual culprits. It said at least 227 new suspects had been interrogated and a sketch of the accused was prepared with the help of the CCTV footage. Besides, a house-to-house search was also carried out with the help of the last crime scene witness.

The report said 67 DNA samples were sent to the laboratory and police have also obtained call data records along with carrying out geofencing of the area.

The report states that a joint investigation team (JIT) has been constituted by the Punjab government under the supervision of Additional IGP Investigation Branch Abubakar Khudabaksh. It states that teams headed by SDPOs of City and Sadar Circles, eight SHOs along with their full police station strength were promptly directed to carry out a search operation in the area of suspicion round the clock under the exclusive supervision of SP Investigation since the minor went missing. Proclamation was made immediately on local cable network. Decoy operation was launched and a large number of suspects were interrogated.

A large number of CCTV footages of various cameras installed on nearby roads and streets comprising long hours of videos were worked out by deputing a number of personnel. The IT team managed to work out video footage of an unidentified suspect carrying Zainab in a remote area of Peru Wala Road in Kasur.

The video found was of extremely poor quality due to which the face of the accused could not be identified. However, a request has been moved to PFSA, Lahore, for enhancement of video quality.

All adjacent under-construction houses were checked immediately by the decoy team but unfortunately, the dead body of minor Zainab was found on January 9 in a garbage pile.

Postmortem of the deceased girl was carried out by the Women Medical Officer (WMO). DNA samples handed over by WMO were sent to PFSA for profiling in order to compare it with already generated DNA in such cases. Circumstantial evidence was collected by PFSA experts including picking up of relevant materials, crime scene inspection and photography. The report said that following the discovery of Zainab’s body, violent protests erupted in Kasur in which two people were killed.

The mob started destroying private and government properties and tried to enter the office of Deputy Commissioner Kasur.

According to the report, Zainab’s uncle Muhammad Adnan reported that on January 4, she went missing at 7:00 pm. Zainab, along with her cousin Usman, went to recite holy Quran at their aunt’s house at Kot Road. Usman reached the house but Zainab did not. Zainab’s aunt presumed that she had gone home but this was not the case.

After this, complainant Adnan along with his brother started searching for Zainab but in vain. The complainant informed Rescue 15 at 9:30 pm that he had a strong suspicion that his niece had been abducted by an unknown accused. A case was registered on January 4.

The CJP had taken suo motu notice into the incident on Wednesday and directed the IGP Punjab to submit a report to the court within 24 hours.


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