Accused pleaded not guilty, contended to contest the charges, said Deputy Prosecutor General Hafiz Asghar.
LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday indicted the two main accused in the Lahore Motorway rape case. The accused pleaded not guilty and contended to contest the charges, said Deputy Prosecutor General Hafiz Asghar.
Hafiz told APP that the court recorded statements of 10 prosecution witnesses, including a car mechanic, a Dolphin Squad member, and a doctor after the accused denied the charges.
Subsequently, the court adjourned further proceedings and summoned more prosecution witnesses on the next date of hearing.
ATC Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta conducted the case hearing at the Camp Jail, wherein jail authorities produced Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali, prime accused and co-accused. It should be noted that due to the sensitivity of the case, the trial of the accused is being conducted within jail premises.
The Gujjarpura police had filed a challan against the accused, wherein they were declared guilty.
The police had requested the court for awarding strict punishment to the accused as sufficient evidence was available against them. The police had also submitted a list of 53 witnesses.
On September 9, 2020, Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali allegedly raped a woman stranded with her children on the motorway before robbing her of money and other valuables, according to a police report on the incident.
The woman, a resident of Gujranwala, was on her way back to the city from Lahore's Ring Road at 01:30AM on Tuesday night, when her car ran out of petrol near Gujjarpura around an hour later.
The woman waited for her husband and phoned a relative for help, who advised her to call the Motorway Police. She subsequently called the Motorway Police's 130 emergency helpline for assistance but was told by the operator that she could not be provided help as the emergency beat had not been assigned to anyone.
While she was stranded on the road, the two men, who were armed, arrived at the site on foot from a nearby area and smashed the window of her car, forcing the woman and her children out of the vehicle. They then cut through the fence along the motorway and raped the woman in the fields in from of her children, the FIR of the incident says.
The woman said that the men then deprived her of Rs100,000, jewellery and ATM cards before fleeing.
The woman was later shifted to a hospital and her medical examination report was sent for forensic analysis. An FIR of the incident was lodged with the Gujjarpura police under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).