KASUR: District Kasur returned to normalcy at last on Friday after three consecutive days of violent protests that erupted after rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl as investigators declared the culprit a ‘serial killer’ also involved in at least eight similar crimes.
On Friday morning, people once again started gathering in different intersections of the city especially the DHQ hospital chowk as part of their ongoing protest both against failure of authorities to arrest the culprit as well as heavy-handedness of police, whose firing killed two protestors on Wednesday.
However, squads of anti-riot force and Rangers acted promptly and dispersed them.
In view of yesterday’s violence including attack on the dera [office] of a ruling party’s lawmaker, the Rangers and police kept patrolling the major roads and streets to thwart any law and order situation.
The Thursday night attack was followed by clashes between protesters and personnel of law enforcing agencies (LEAs), who later took 40 men into custody. Additional contingents of LEAS were also called in.
Heavy contingent of police also remained deployed outside all important buildings and intersections. Water cannons and squads of anti-riot force also remained on standby.
Meanwhile, Punjab government spokesperson Muhammad Ahmad Khan in a press conference said the initial investigations had suggested that the suspect was a serial killer. “Police have found some important leads in the case and will soon solve the mystery,” he claimed.
The government on Friday changed head of the joint investigations team (JIT) formed to probe into the incident and appointed Multan’s Regional Police Officer Muhammad Idrees in place of Abu Bakar Khuda Baksh. The victim’s father had expressed reservations over appointment of Baksh as JIT head.
Idrees later reached Kasur and took charge of the investigations. He also accompanied Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Arif Nawaz Khan during his visit to the victim’s residence along with other members of the JIT – RPO Sargodha Zulfiqar Hameed and DPO Kasur Zahid Nawaz Marwat.
The IGP Khan conveyed his condolences to Zainab’s family members and assured them of justice. Members of JIT also visited the crime scene and collected more forensic evidence.
Speaking on the occasion, Khan said the JIT is considering evidences from all angles. “We have collected evidences and statements of the family members and other people also. The police are using all available resources and working in coordination with different departments,” he added.
He said the DNA sample in Zaiban’s case has matched with the sample in other eight cases which means that all these crimes are committed by the same person. He, however, ruled out the rumors that 80% of the case had been solved.
“The police have taken four more suspects into custody, sent their DNA samples to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) and are waiting for the results,” he added.
Talking about the CCTV footage in which the victim is seen walking with the suspect, Khan said it was not very clear and of poor quality. “We have, however, improved it and sent it the PFSA for further improvement,” he added.