LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court judge, Sajjad Ahmad, on Wednesday handed over the alleged rapist and murderer of seven-year-old Zainab to the police on 14-day physical remand to probe similar cases of other minor girls.
The suspect, Imran Ali, was produced before the ATC amid tight security. His face was covered with a black cloth when the police brought him to the courtroom. Later, it was removed on the judge’s order.
The judge asked the police whether there were one or two accused, to which the investigation officer (IO) replied that there was one. The judge, after seeing the suspect’s face, said whether it was the same person seen in the CCTV footage. The IO replied in the affirmative.
He further asked the man seen in the CCTV footage had beard but the accused produced before the court had none. The IO said the accused had admitted that he had shaved off his beard after murdering Zainab.
The judge also inquired whether the police had any evidence of his involvement in the case, the IO contended that the DNA report was attached with the documents, which matched with that of Zainab.
When asked if the police had any other proof, the IO said a polygraph test of the accused was also conducted which established his involvement. The judge said what was the legal value of the polygraph, to which the IO replied that the court could summon senior officials who conducted the test for testifying its results.
The IO said the DNA test was conducted on January 20 and the report normally took one or two days. He prayed the court for seeking 14 days of physical remand of the accused on the plea to investigate the cases of other minor girls who had been abducted, raped and killed allegedly by the same accused.
The police official said minor girl Kainat, who is hospitalised in Children’s Hospital Lahore, was also targeted by Imran as his DNA matched with her. He said the police were yet to investigate where the accused had taken the minors to rape and kill them.
About the incident, the IO said Kainat, along with her brother, was going for a class to learn Quran, but the accused lured her before she entered the house. The IO told the court that Imran used to give candies to the minors for trapping them. Later, the court granted 14-day physical remand with the directions to produce Imran again on February 7 along with the investigation report till that date.
Meanwhile, sources say the accused told the JIT that he kidnapped Zainab at around 6:45pm and kept moving around for over 1.5 kilometres because of not finding a suitable place. The room in which he kept Zainab was without electricity and packets of biryani found from there had her fingerprints, they added.
The accused used to kidnap girls from the houses where he worked, the sources said and added that Imran abducted Kainat on the pretext of giving her yogurt. He told the investigators that he raped and murdered a total of 10 girls – eight in under-construction houses and two at garbage dumping places. However, his involvement has been proved in eight cases only, as the DNA samples of two girls were spoiled.
On the other hand, BBC reported that the police managed to arrest Imran with the help two buttons of his jacket. The CCTV footage showed a person wearing a jacket which had two large visible buttons and the police found that in a raid at his house.