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KASUR: Police have made a major breakthrough in a case pertaining to the grisly rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab in Kasur by arresting the main suspect, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
According to informed sources, the tissue samples obtained from a suspect had matched the samples taken from the body of the victim.
Reports say the suspect named Imran is a resident of the same area and lived in close proximity to the house of Zainab’s aunt.
Police claim the suspect has confessed to the crime. He was initially arrested when the murder came to the light, but was released later.
Reports say the culprit disappeared from the neighbourhood shortly after his release. Police then traced and rounded him up again after some clues.
Father of the minor victim, Amin Ansari, confirmed the arrested suspect lived in the same area. He said police have not yet informed him about the arrest of the key suspect in his daughter’s rape and murder case.
A spokesperson for the Punjab government said the suspect was arrested from Pakpattan.
The accused had been sent to a forensic lab for DNA testing, he said adding that there were other evidences, which corroborated his involvement in the case.
The 72-hour deadline
On January 21, the Supreme Court gave three days’ time to a joint investigation team formed to probe the rape and murder of Zainab to track down the culprit.
Regional Police Officer (RPO) Multan Muhammad Idrees, who is heading a joint investigation team constituted to probe the incident, submitted a progress report to the court.
He informed that Zainab’s rape and murder was the eighth incident of similar nature that had taken place in Kasur since June 2015.
Several similar incidents had taken place in the same city, what police had done so far to arrest culprits, the chief justice asked.
Expressing dissatisfaction over progress in the probe into the rape-murder of the minor girl, a member of the bench remarked the investigators had zeroed in on just one angle of the case. The police could probe the case in multiple traditional ways, he added.
Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik asked the police to focus on other angles of the case too, reminding them that the DNA testing was not the only way to trace the culprit.
If the police continued the probe in this way, DNA tests of 210 million people will have to be conducted, he said.
Zainab was abducted on January 04 from Kasur’s Kot Road area. Five days after her disappearance, she was found raped, dead and buried in a garbage dump on Jan 09.
Zainab’s rape and murder shattered the entire nation, triggering widespread public outrage with people from all walks of life demanding an exemplary capital punishment for the perpetrator.
Violent protests had erupted in the Kasur city following the incident, resulting in the death of two people in police firing outside DC office.
The incident blew the lid on the horrifying reality of how children in a brutalized society are vulnerable to sexual abuse.