'Close associate' of motorway gang-rape case prime suspect arrested

Police claim to have gained ample information regarding Abid Ali from Iqbal alias Bala Mistri


Our Correspondent September 15, 2020
PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE:

The Anti-Organised Crime Cell's (CIA) officials claimed on Tuesday to have arrested a close associate of the Lahore motorway gang-rape incident's prime suspect, Abid Ali.

Identified as Iqbal alias Bala Mistri, the man was arrested by the police on identification of Shafqat Ali, an accomplice of suspect Abid Ali in the gang-rape case - he was arrested yesterday, and has since confessed to committing the crime.

According to the police, Abid Ali had contacted both Shafqat and Iqbal before the incident and. However, Iqbal did not show up as he returned home mid-way.

Regardless, Iqbal has been Abid Ali's accomplice in several criminal activities, states the police. He is also said to have been contacted by the prime suspect before fleeing. Police claimed to have gathered ample information on Abid Ali from Iqbal.

On September 14, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar announced the arrest of Shafqat on Twitter.

The chief minister also confirmed that the DNA of Shafqat Ali had matched with the samples collected from the crime scene.

He added that the other suspect, Abid Ali, would also be rounded up. “Our entire team is continuously engaged in efforts [and] suspect Abid Ali is expected to be arrested soon.”

Shafqat was arrested by the Anti-Organised Crime Cell of the CIA from the Depalpur area after being identified by Waqarul Hassan -- one of the two men earlier named as suspects by the police. Shafqat has been transferred to Lahore. According to police, he already has a criminal record.

Punjab Police Chief Inam Ghani said Shafqat was arrested with the help of scientific analysis and forensic evidence collected from the crime scene.

“Shafqat Ali, son of Allah Ditta, is a resident of Haroonabad, a small town in Bahawalnagar district,” the official tweeted, adding that the police were “working day and night” to arrest Abid Ali.

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