RAWALPINDI: A suspect in the recent spate of knife attacks on women has confessed to attacking eight women, one of whom died on the spot.
He said he was using a kitchen knife to attack the victims, which he then put back with the rest of his utensils for daily use upon returning home.
Mohammad Ali, said to be in his 20s, confessed to attacking women with a kitchen knife in seven incidents. In one case, Anum Naz, 26, died on the night of August 7, while her colleague was severely injured.
Mr Ali was living close to where several of the attacks took place. He said he would leave his home on Bilal Street in Morgah at around 8pm, and would return after two hours, after stabbing his victims. He claimed he did not want to kill anyone.
Quoting the confessional statement, Deputy Superintendent of Police Farhan Aslam said the suspect said he felt satisfaction after stabbing women because he “hated” them. Mr Aslam said the suspect claimed that his mother was mistreated by her in-laws before she died of cancer when he was a year old.
He said Mr Ali said that his father remarried, and his stepmother did not treat him well, due to which he moved in with his grandfather and his aunt in Morgah.
His arrest came about after the police sought the assistance of the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) and intelligence agencies, who used a sketch to pick up suspects in the area.
A CTD team led by inspector Abdul Sattar Khan spotted Mr Ali at a tandoor in Morgah during a search operation on August 12.
He was taken into custody by the CTD and later handed over to the local police.
Two of the victims – Naz, 26, and Irum Shahzad, 24 – were nurses associated with the Fauji Foundation Hospital. They were returning to the hospital after going shopping in Saddar when they were attacked by an unidentified individual near the hospital gates on August 7.
Naz died on the spot after she was stabbed repeatedly in the chest, and the attacker was overpowered by Ms Shahzad. DSP Aslam said the suspect did not intend to kill Naz, but when he saw that he had no chance of escaping after being caught by the other woman he stabbed her repeatedly and killed her.
He said Mr Ali confessed to being involved in seven similar attacks, including one reported to the Morgah police by a woman who did not wish to be named. She was returning home when she was attacked near the Farooq-i-Azam mosque earlier this year.
He also confessed to attacking Riffat Bibi as she was taking out the garbage at 10pm on February 21. He told the police he stabbed Quratulain while she was with her mother and brother at around 8:45pm on July 24.
The suspect also confessed to attacking two other women in July – one was attacked in Morgah while the other was stabbed near the Al-Shifa hospital. He also attacked Samar Razaq on August 7, the same day the two nurses were attacked.
A Morgah resident, Malik Omer Irfan, said: “No one from his home realised Ali was involved in such a heinous crime that sparked panic in the Morgah area. A large number of schoolgirls and women were feeling insecure even inside their homes.” Mr Irfan was also attempting to trace the attacker on his own.
The suspect was formally handed over to the Morgah police on Tuesday and produced before the parents of three victims, Naz, Ms Quratulain and Ms Riffat. They confirmed that their daughters – other than Naz – had identified the attacker.
Police claimed Mr Ali confessed to being involved in four of the cases registered with the police so far this year. Mr Ali was produced before the court for remand on Wednesday.