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Rape probe: The curious case of the ‘missing’ footage

Rape probe: The curious case of the ‘missing’ footage

LAHORE: Police teams investigating into the rape of a five-year-old girl on were perplexed on Monday to find a vital portion of a CCTV footage missing from the record that could have helped them identify the culprit(s).

Meanwhile, the police picked another security guard of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for interrogation in the light of CCTV footages showing the victim being dropped on hospital premises. Two security guards of the hospital are already under police interrogation.

Sources told Dawn that scope of investigation had been broadened by involving hospital staff in the probe as CCTV footages apparently suggested the girl was assaulted either on the hospital premises or around it.

They said police investigators had yet not identified the man wearing T-shirt and trousers seen in CCTV footages holding the girl in her arms and bringing her to the hospital.

Sources said police were looking for a 90-minute CCTV footage that was missing from the hospital record. Before the missing portion of the footage, the girl could be seen being dropped on the hospital premises where she sat on a cemented ramp.

In the next footage that was shot by the CCTV camera after a gap of 90 minutes, a security guard could be seen carrying the unconscious girl to the hospital’s emergency. Sources said it appeared that the 90-minute footage which could have led the investigators to the culprit(s) or those who picked the girl from the hospital was intentionally removed from the record.

Crimes Investigation Agency SP Muhammad Umar Virk, who is heading one of the investigation teams, told Dawn that police had not yet concluded the probe process as they could not so far establish who the real culprits were.

He said sketches of suspects who were taken into custody for questioning were drawn for investigation purposes.

Meanwhile, a report compiled by a sensitive agency about the incident blamed the police for not taking sufficient security measures at the hospital which led to the entry and exit of culprits without any check.

The report further said police negligence also resulted in the absence of eyewitness accounts of the incident.

An investigator said police had so far interrogated 20 suspects, including two guards of the hospital, in connection with the incident but to no avail.

One of the victim’s family members told Dawn on phone that though the girl was recovering fast, she was still unable to speak clearly.

He said the family could not identify any of the suspects, including the man who was seen in the CCTV footage.

He said up to 50 people of Ghosai Colony were quizzed by police and that no one was missing from the locality.

Meanwhile, police teams working on the case gave a detailed briefing to the IGP at his camp office here in the GOR-I. The IG was told that forensic evidence was sent for DNA analysis and polygraph test of a couple of suspects was also being conducted.

DAWN

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