Police to conduct mass DNA tests to identify gang rape accused

Law ministers, IGP visit crime scene on Lahore-Sialkot Motorway; victim’s medical report confirm sexual assault


Muhammad Shahzad September 11, 2020
LAHORE:

Authorities decided on Friday to go for the DNA census of the population of the nearby villages after failure of the investigations wing of the Lahore police in arresting the accused involved in the brutal sexual assault on a woman in front of her children during robbery in Gujjarpura three days ago.

The failure raised serious question marks on investigations capacity of the Punjab police. The DNA profiling by the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) will be the third high profile case, involving sexual violence, within a span of two years.

On Thursday night, Inam Ghani, the Inspector General of the Punjab Police, formed a six members committee, headed by Deputy Inspector General Investigations, Lahore, Shahzada Sultan, to investigate the gage rape on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway.

The other members of the committee included SSP Investigations, Lahore, Zeeshan Asghar, RO Special Branch, Lahore, Jahanzeb Nazir, RO CTD, Lahore, Naseeb Ullah Khan, SP CIA, Lahore, Asim Iftikhar and in charge anti-gender crime cell, Civil Lines, Fiza Azam.

The top police brass had deputed over two-dozen investigation teams to get hold of the accused. DIG Investigations of Lahore police Sahibzada Shahzada Sultan said that all the available resources had been used to solve the case.

Police had accessed CCTV footages, CDR analysis, geo-fencing, arrest of history-sheeters to trace the suspects. The teams of Special Branch, CTD and other investigation agencies had also been employed for the purpose.

Besides using all the top investigators, the Lahore police had also mustered the help of Khojis –private investigators who in past used footprints to identify the criminals – as traditional means of investigations to find a bit of trace to the accused persons.

However, despite all these resources and supervision from top most executive authorities of the country – Prime Minister Imran Khan’s adviser Shahzad Akbar, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Inspector General of Punjab Police Inam Ghani – the police could not make any headway, so far.

Frustrated by the failure, the authorities have decided to go for forensic census. A field hospital for the purpose has been set up near the crime scene. Almost all the people of the nearby villages, having similarities with the accused persons, would go through the DNA profiling process.

This is the third high profile case in which the Punjab police went for DNA census after failing to rely on its investigations capacity. Previously, it happened in Zainab murder case in Kasur and Chunia serial killing case after sodomy.

A few months ago, the PFSA director general had written a letter to the home department and called on the authorities to urge the Punjab police to improve their investigations or pay for the expenditures of the PFSA incurred on the process. He had asserted that DNA census was an expensive procedure that cost millions of rupees.

Meanwhile, political, bureaucratic and police elite of the province paid visits to the crime scene on Friday. They included Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, additional chief secretary home Momin Agha, IGP Inam Ghani, DG PFSA Ashraf Tahir and others.

Talking to reporters on the occasion, IGP Inam Ghani said that he himself had been supervising the investigation. “Punjab Police are ensuring the use of both traditional and modern methods of investigation in the case,” he said.

The investigators checked an area of 5 km around the crime scene, marked the suspicious points and took into custody Muhammad Kashif, Abid, Salman, Abdul Rehman, Haider Sultan, Abu Bakar, Asghar Ali, whose DNA tests had been conducted, he added.

Police said that so far, 15 suspects had been profiled, while data obtained from mobile companies for geo-fencing from three different locations was being analyzed and video recordings obtained from local cameras were being used to identify suspects.

Medical report of victim

A medical report of the victim confirmed that she had been sexually assaulted. She had marks of torture on her body as well as face. The report suggested that the victim had offered resistance.

On Thursday night, an eyewitness – a Dolphin Squad official – also came forward. He said that his squad was near Mehmood Booti, when they were informed by control room about resistance during a robbery attempt on the motorway.

He said that they rushed to the location but could not find anyone as it was a deserted place and darkness everywhere but found an empty vehicle. They searched for the victim and spotted a shoe of a child. On further search, another shoe was seen, he added.

On sensing threat, they resorted to firing, the eyewitness said, adding that they followed the trail where the shoes were found and called out if there was anyone. Meanwhile, they informed other fellows around.

While rushing to the spot, they heard a woman’s voice calling “Bhai. She was really disturbed with three children wrapped around her and was crying badly. They introduced themselves to be police. But she was not ready to believe and was resisting. After seeing wireless, she let them help her.

Meanwhile, it was announced on Friday that teams of the Special Protection Unit and the Punjab Highway Patrol would provide security on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway. On Friday, additional IG PHP Zaffar Awan and DIG SPU Bilal Siddique Kamyana visited the motorway and the crime spot.

COMMENTS (1)

tatvavvetta | 1 year ago | Reply

If there is similar case in India Pakistani readers write against India all negative things. Indian comments are not published if they are against Pakistan. Be happy Pakistan and try to improve education, health and economy of Pakistan. Stop hating Jews, Hindus,Sikh ,Christians, Hazaras, Shias. Muslims are dependent on non-Muslims for technology,health and education.Learn to accept Hindus,Jews and non-Muslims and co-exists with them. More Muslims live in India than in Pakistan.

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