LAHORE: After four days of hectic efforts, the police have arrested three suspects in the rape and murder of eight-year-old Zainab. The suspects were shortlisted from a long list of criminals on the police’s watch-list after thorough investigations.
The minor girl who went missing on January 6 was found raped and murdered in a pile of garbage four days later.
A senior police officer said that arrests were made after carefully corroborating the call record data of all the 247 suspects on the watch list with the CCTV footage of the area from where Zainab went missing.
According to investigations, five mobile phones were in use in the area at the time Zainab left her home. The suspects were constantly in contact with each other through SMS and calls during 7pm to 9pm.
Police also spotted a suspect roaming around the house of Zainab. He was seen using his mobile phone and roaming on the street. However, police have yet to identify the suspect.
Initial findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) also suggested that the suspect had not acted alone, the officer said, adding that at least three people were involved in the ruthless murder.
Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Chairperson Dr Umar Saif also played a major role in shortlisting the suspects.
Meanwhile, members of the JIT, Regional Police Officer (RPO) Multan Muhammad Idrees, RPO Sheikhupura Zulfiqar Hameed and DPO Kasur Zahid Nawaz Marwat held a meeting at Central Police Office Lahore.
They briefed Inspector General of Police Punjab Captain (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan about the development in the case.
Additional IG Operations Amir Zulfqar Khan, AIG Investigation Abu Bakar Khuda Bakhsh, AIG Legal Abdul Rab and AIG Monitoring Ahsan Yunis were also present.
JIT head M Idrees and other members briefed the IGP that all aspects and suspects in the murder case were being judged in detail.
After the briefings, the IGP told the officers to speed up the investigation process. He further said that the investigation should be extended to other departments for cooperation. He also suggested use of scientific-based methods, including DNA test of every suspected person and NADRA-related information.
On the other hand, a survey team of the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) reached Kasur to conduct a survey to install CCTV cameras at important points in the city. The PSCA will install cameras at all important points, plazas, hospitals, educational institutes, universities and highways.
PSCA spokesperson Tayyab Sattar said that software would be installed which would focus on facial recognition, adding that the step would also contribute to curbing crime in the city.