The Punjab government has launched a manhunt to apprehend the suspects in the Lahore motorway gang rape case after having identified both of them “using scientific evidence.”
Chief Minister of Punjab Usman Buzdar while vowing that the two culprits will be arrested soon, announced Rs2.5 million reward for any information leading to their arrest. He said that the identity of those bringing forward any information will be kept confidential.
The prime suspect – identified as Abid Ali – has been traced through DNA profiling, IGP Punjab Inam Ghani told a news conference in Lahore on Saturday where Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, along with his cabinet members, was also present.
The second suspect – identified as Waqaul Hassan Shah – was traced on the basis of Abid’s phone record. Abid carries seven mobile SIM cards, while only one is registered in his name.
Abid, son of Akbar Ali, is a resident of Fort Abbas, a small village in Bahawalnagar district, IGP Ghani said citing his DNA profile. Waqar is a resident of Qilla Sattar Shah in Sheikhupura district. He was released on bail a couple of weeks back.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Saturday said Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani issued a show-cause notice to Lahore Capital City Police Officer Umer Sheikh over his remarks in which he shifted blame for on the victim of the Lahore motorway gang-rape victim. Buzdar added that legal action would be taken against the CCPO after the submission of his reply.
Inam Ghani said that the police has the entire record of both suspects in the case. “A special investigation was constituted in
which officers from the CTD, Special Branch, and an officer from the unit of violence against women were a part of the team,” Ghani said.
He said that the entire area where the incident took place was canvassed.
“Geo-fencing of the entire area was carried out, data was taken from the Election Commission of Pakistan, fingerprints were taken from the site, and DNA tests were conducted,” he said.
Ghani said that scientific investigation is a time-consuming process.
“Chief Minister Buzdar has cooperated with us throughout and was in contract with us even at night — till 1:30, 2am,” he said. The police chief said that ultimately, yesterday night, “through scientific evidence”, the prime suspect was identified as Abid Ali.
“Ali is a resident of Bahawalnagar, Fort Abbas,” he said.
“Our teams worked hard to gain information about Ali and were able to get information on his family, his prior records, his CNIC, and number.”
IGP Ghani said that after the police went through the records they had gathered they got to know that the suspect had four sims registered in his name that he used on several occasions. All of the sims, however, were currently non-functional.
“Ultimately, we tracked down another number — that was not registered to his name — and it proved our suspicions right. Through this number, we were able to reach his partner as well,” he said.