The alleged rapist and murderer of Kasur’s seven-year-old Zainab has been remanded for 14 days in the custody of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which also will probe his involvement in the similar murder of seven other minor children.
The suspect, Imran Ali, who was arrested on the basis of his DNA test after a two-week-long probe, was presented on Wednesday before an anti-terrorism court (ATC) judge amid tight security.
The police had cordoned off the van in which the accused was brought to the court. More than 50 police officials were deputed on the security of the accused, who was wearing a grey-shirt and trouser with his face covered in a black cloth. No one was allowed to go near the suspect and the police officials led him by holding his neck, arms and back.
The accused was made to bow before District and Sessions Judge Sajjad Ahmed, who asked whether there was only one accused in the case or more than one. The investigation officer (IO) informed the court that only one person, Imran Ali, was the accused.
The judge ordered the cloth removed from the face of the accused. After seeing his face, the judge asked if he was the same person seen in the CCTV footages. The IO replied in affirmative.
The judge, however, noted that the man seen in the CCTV footages had a beard but the man presented before him was clean shaven. The IO said the accused had admitted that he had shaved his beard after murdering Zainab.
The judge asked if the police had any evidence of his involvement in the case. The IO contended that his DNA test report, attached with the documents, had matched with that of the sample collected from Zainab’s body.
When the judge asked if the police had any other evidence, the IO said a polygraph test of the accused was also conducted which established the involvement of the accused in the murder.
The judge asked what the legal value of the polygraph test was. The IO said the court could summon the senior officials who conducted the test for testifying its results.
The IO told the court that the DNA test of the suspect was conducted on January 20, adding that the DNA report normally comes after one to two days.
The IO requested the court to hand over the accused to investigators for a 14-day physical remand so that he might be probed for his alleged involvement in abduction, rape and murder of eight minor girls, including Zainab.
He also told the court that the DNA sample of the accused had also matched with the samples collected from another minor child who was raped but had survived the attack. The IO said the police were yet to investigate where the accused used to keep the minors.
When asked how the accused lured Zainab, the officer said the little child went for the Quran lessons along with her brother and the accused beckoned to her before she entered the house.
“The accused used to give candies and toffees to minor children who love such gifts. That was the tactics the accused used to trap the minors,” he said.
Later, the court handed over the accused to the investigators for a 14-day physical remand.