‘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
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.
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.
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.