Thursday Sep 10, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday took notice of the Lahore motorway rape case and the rape-and-murder of a 5-year-old girl in Karachi, urging authorities to take strict action against the culprits.
A tweet from the Prime Minister's Office said that PM Imran had taken "strict notice" of the incidents, stating that protection of women is the government's top priority and responsibility.
The prime minister has sought reports on the two incidents from the relevant IGs and urged the government to make existing laws effective to provide protection to women and children.
Five-year-old Marwah had been kidnapped after she left home in Karachi on Friday morning at around 7am to buy biscuits from a nearby shop. Later, her body was found stuffed inside a bag in Essa Nagri in the early hours of Sunday.
Following the discovery of the body, the victim's family staged a six-hour protest and blocked the busy University Road, demanding immediate and strict action against the culprits.
Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon also visited Marwah’s family on Tuesday and met her father and other family members. He assured the family that the culprits would be arrested soon.
Earlier today, the newly appointed Inspector-General of Punjab Police Inam Ghani claimed that police have secured “evidence” that will lead them to the culprits in the disturbing motorway rape and robbery case.
“We have done great work so far in the motorway rape case. We have located the village from which the suspects were from,” the IGP revealed while talking to Geo Pakistan.
He also shared that 20 police teams were working on the case and are being overseen by a deputy inspector-general.
Ghani shared that the victim of the heinous crime had provided ages and other identifying features of the suspects.
“Right now, we have a very good clue which will lead us to the suspects directly. However, we cannot share it with the media yet,” Ghani said on the Geo News programme.
He also shared that police have obtained the complete voter list and record from the National Database & Registration Authority of the area where the suspects are believed to have hailed from.
The Punjab police chief shared that they have narrowed down the list suspects to 70 people who fall in the same age bracket as the rapists and who have a past criminal record.
He added that police teams were tracking down the people who fit the profile.
Police also carried out geofencing in the area where the incident occurred and are awaiting the report.
IG Ghani said that the woman's children, who were forced to witness the horrific crime, were now with their family, who have been assured that they will be provided all kinds of support. He said the victims of the attack would be in a much better state when the suspects are arrested.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif vowed to stand with the family "till justice is served".
Condemning the incident, he said that the assault of a woman travelling with her children on the motorway is highly reprehensible, shameful and regrettable.
“This is a matter of national embarrassment and evidence of a completely broken down legal system,” the PM-N president wrote.
He urged the government to investigate the case using quality investigative techniques like the ones used in the Zainab case so that the culprit is not let off the hook at the time of prosecution.
Shehbaz asked whose "incompetence" can be blamed for the motorway — which was always considered safe to travel — to have become a threat to safety.
"Law enforcement agencies must work together to apprehend those responsible and serve justice to the affected family so that the public's confidence in the government can be restored in some small measure," he said.
Soon after the gruesome incident, Prime Minister Imran Khan's aide on political communication Shahbaz Gill said that on Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar's directives, Lahore Capital City Police Officer Umar Sheikh will lead the investigation.
"Urban and rural policing techniques are being used," he said, adding: "CCTV footage and DNA matching is being used in the probe."
He said that "around 12 suspects have been arrested".
On Tuesday night, it was reported that two robbers had gang-raped a mother of two on the motorway within Gujjarpura police's jurisdiction.
The woman, along with her two children, was driving to Gujranwala in her car when she was forced to stop at the Gujjarpura section of the motorway after running out of fue,l at around 1:30am. She immediately called a relative and sent him her location. He asked her to also dial the Motorway Police helpline 130 from which she reportedly received no response.
In the meantime, two robbers approached the car, broke the window, and took the woman and her children to nearby bushes where they raped her repeatedly in front of the children. They also snatched her purse carrying Rs100,000 in cash, one bracelet, car registration papers and three ATM cards.
The Gujjarpura police have registered a case, while the motorway police spokesman said they had not been able to take action as the incident did not occur within their jurisdiction.