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ATC frames charges against prime suspect in Zainab rape, murder case

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Monday indicted prime suspect Imran Ali in the rape and murder case of Kasur’s seven-year-old Zainab. 

ATC judge Sajjad Ahmed read out charges against the suspected rapist and murderer of the minor girl during the hearing inside the Kot Lakhpat Jail.

A four-member prosecutors’ team was present during the hearing including Deputy Prosecutor Waqar Abid Bhatti, Deputy Prosecutor Abdul Rauf Watto, Hafiz Asghar and a woman.

Abdul Rauf told the court that the statements of 20 out of 56 witnesses had been recorded, hopefully, statements of rest of the witnesses would be recorded by the next day, he added.

“The witnesses include forensic scientist, medical board members, joint investigation team members and members of other investigation teams,” he underlined.

He said his team had made full preparation for the case and their case was very strong.

The Supreme Court on Saturday disposed of a suo motu case pertaining to the rape and murder of little Zainab and directed the trial court to decide the case within seven days.

Headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, the three-judge bench heard the case at the apex court’s Lahore registry.

Inspector General of Punjab Police Arif Nawaz Khan apprised the three member bench that a charge-sheet against accused Imran Ali had been submitted in an anti-terrorism court in Lahore.

He asked the ATC to conclude the case within seven days in compliance with the Lahore High Court verdict in this regard.

Little Zainab was abducted on January 04 from Kasur’s Kot Road area. Five days after her disappearance, she was found raped, dead and buried in a garbage dump on Jan 09.

The grisly rape and murder of the minor outraged the country, sparking violent protests in Kasur city.

The suspect was arrested after hectic efforts by almost all law enforcement and spy agencies. A large number of suspects were interrogated and their DNA tests were carried out to find the culprit.

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