‘New footage’ may of­fer lead in girl’s rape

Po­lice re­lease new CCTV footage of ‘per­son of in­ter­est’ in Zainab rape, mur­der case; eight sus­pects in­clud­ing rel­a­tives of vic­tim held; Pun­jab CM forms panel to curb child abuse

The Gulf Today - - ASIA - BY TARIQ BUTT / AGEN­CIES

ISLAMABAD: As nor­malcy started re­turn­ing to Ka­sur, Pun­jab po­lice on Satur­day is­sued fresh footage of a per­son they sus­pect of in­volve­ment in the kid­nap­ping, rape and mur­der of eight-year-old Zainab An­sari.

She had left her house in the Road Kot area for her ma­ter­nal aunt’s a few min­utes away for reli­gious lessons on Jan.4. She was ab­ducted en route. On JAN.9, ive Days AF­TER SHE DIS­AP­PEARED, labour­ers found her dead body from a trash pile.

In the new footage, a bearded man bear­ing a re­sem­blance to her ab­duc­tor can be seen walk­ing through the street where Zainab’s house is sit­u­ated. The man is seen wear­ing a dark coloured cap, what seems to be grey shal­war kameez and a brown jacket.

‘PER­SON OF IN­TER­EST’

PO­LICE HAVE CLARI­IED that THE man Is only a “per­son of in­ter­est” as of now. The new video will help them make head­way in the case as it is clearer com­pared to the footage they had avail­able ear­lier.

EAR­LIER, po­lice Conirmed that THE re­sults of DNA tests car­ried out in the case in­di­cated the in­volve­ment of one cul­prit in at least seven sim­i­lar cases that oc­curred in the dis­trict over the past year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pun­jab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA), it had re­ceived sam­ples col­lected by Ka­sur po­lice from the crime scene. The sam­ples were pro­cessed at the PFSA’S DNA and Serol­ogy, sec­tion WHERE Ex­perts Conirmed that the sus­pect had been be­hind sev­eral sim­i­lar crimes in La­hore.

The agency had con­ducted tests of sam­ples ob­tained from victims in seven sim­i­lar cases from Ka­sur, and, ac­cord­ing to avail­able records, the re­sults of these re­ports in­di­cated the in­volve­ment of the same per­son.

The In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Pun­jab Po­lice had ear­lier told re­porters that a Joint In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team set up to probe the case had re­ceived the DNA test re­sults and in­ves­ti­ga­tions were un­der­way.

SUS­PECTS AR­RESTED

Mean­while, Pun­jab Law Min­is­ter Rana Sanaullah said DNA testing has linked THE killing to At least ive other cases of child abuse and mur­der in the city of Ka­sur. Po­lice have de­tained eight sus­pects, in­clud­ing two rel­a­tives of the girl.

Sanaullah ex­pressed hope for a break­through, say­ing new footage from sur­veil­lance cam­eras showed a man with a thin beard, who re­sem­bles po­lice sketches of the sus­pect, walk­ing near An­sari’s house. He said the head of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was re­placed by an­other sea­soned oficer Fol­low­ing Com­plaints by the vic­tim’s fa­ther.

The res­i­dents say the au­thor­i­ties were slow to re­spond to the girl’s dis­ap­pear­ance, charges de­nied by po­lice.

Late dur­ing the day, Pun­jab Chief Min­is­ter Shah­baz Sha­reef formed a com­mit­tee headed by Sanaullah for pro­tec­tion of the chil­dren and pro­vi­sion of aware­ness of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

AC­CORD­ING to A noti­ica­tion passed By the Pun­jab CM, a regime is be­ing set up For THE For­ti­ica­tion of THE CHIL­DREN in the wake of the Ka­sur tragedy.

AC­CORD­ING to THE noti­ica­tion, THE com­mit­tee will un­dergo with min­is­ter for schools be­ing the co-con­vener within the 20-mem­ber bench com­mit­tee un­der the reg­u­la­tory desk of Sanaullah, to pre­vent the in­creas­ing trend of child abuse in the so­ci­ety.

The Pun­jab chief min­is­ter also in­sti­gated the com­mit­tee meet­ings to be held with daily at­tempts un­der clause for chil­dren’s sup­port in­clud­ing scru­tiny of the po­lice’s pro­ce­dures and aware­ness cam­paigns among par­ents and chil­dren.

Agence France-presse

Sup­port­ers of Pak­istan Awami Tehrik shout slo­gans dur­ing a protest in Karachi on Satur­day con­demn­ing the rape and mur­der of Zainab An­sari in Ka­sur dis­trict of Pun­jab.

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