- IGP visit Kasur to visit Zainab parents, others; Zainab’s parents refuse to meet
- Kasur’s schools will be open, law and order condition is better
- JIT issues sketch of the culprit
LAHORE/KASUR: Police in Punjab are still clueless about the rapists-cum-murderers of Zainab as they released two new sketches of suspects on Sunday, five days after the seven-year-old child’s body was recovered from a dump in Kasur, with her family appearing to have given up hope for justice.
“There has been no major breakthrough so far,” admitted Punjab Inspector General (IG) Arif Nawaz while talking to media in Lahore in the evening before adding, “Police would soon apprehend the culprit(s) as all agencies are working towards the goal.”
IGP VISITS KASUR:
Earlier in the day, the Punjab Police chief visited Kasur, where he chaired a high-level session pertaining to the murder case at the DPO Office Kasur.
“Murderer(s) of innocent Zainab cannot remain at large,” the IGP said during the meeting, adding that police considered the case as a challenge and all available means were being employed for the investigation of this case.
Arif Nawaz said that investigation process of arrested suspects was going on speedily, as inquiry teams were busy in assessing all aspects of the case.
During the session, Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Multan’s RPO (regional police head) Muhammad Idrees told the IGP that the Zainab murder case would soon be finalised as CCTV footage and images of alleged persons were being matched with all persons of the area using DNA tests.
Upon this, the IGP asked Punjab Forensic Science Agency Director General Ashraf Tahir to compile reports of DNA tests on a preferential basis so that investigation process could be expedited.
The IGP directed that any technology or resources needed in the investigation process would be fulfilled through intimation to the CPO office and provision of these resources to required place not be delayed at any cost.
He further said that investigation of cases of death of citizens during protests should be done on merit, and challans of these cases should be submitted to the court.
During his visit, the IGP also met with citizens of Kasur and plaintiffs of other cases, and assured them of the arrest of murderer(s) at the earliest.
According to reports, the IGP wanted to hold a meeting with the parents of Zainab, but they refused to see him.
JIT RELEASES SKETCH OF CULPRIT:
Two new images of suspects in the Zainab rape and murder case were released on Sunday. The joint investigation team (JIT) probing the rape and murder of Zainab, and 11 other children before her in Kasur, held a meeting with families of all victims, excluding Zainab’s, at the residence of district police officer (DPO) Kasur.
An official present during the meeting said that the families were given a new sketch of the possible culprit and were asked whether any of them knew him; however, none of the attendants replied in affirmative.
Meanwhile, another clearer picture of the suspect, who was supposedly seen with Zainab in a footage released earlier in the week, was released by the police. According to a JIT statement, the same culprit is involved in at least eight cases of such sort. It was informed that the JIT was carrying out raids to arrest the culprits.
CM ORDERS EARLY ARREST OF ACCUSED:
Chairing a meeting through video link late on Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif directed to utilise all out resources for the immediate arrest of the accused involved in the rape and murder of Zainab.
The chief minister said that investigation should be carried out in a scientific and professional way to bring a monstrous person to the grip of the law.
“Work should be done in an integrated manner for the arrest of the accused and murderer should not be left un-trapped,” he said.
The chief minister ordered that family members of two protesters who died as the result of police firing be given justice at all costs. He directed the relevant authorities to take immediate steps to install latest cameras in Kasur.
The chief minister added that installation of latest cameras would be connected to the Punjab Safe City Project and all needful resources would be provided in this regard.
CM Sharif said that he himself was monitoring the progress of the cases of killing of Zainab and the two demonstrators.
The CM was also briefed by the IGP about the progress of the horrendous events that took place in Kasur.
ZAINAB’S FAMILY DISSATISFIED:
Zainab’s family, meanwhile, appeared dissatisfied with the investigation process.
The child’s father said the police had not arrested a single suspect in the case yet.
Expressing his views on the investigation while talking to reporters on Sunday, he said, “The investigation speed has not been hastened, while the police keep giving us assurances that the suspect will be arrested soon.”
He also shared that the mothers of people taken into custody during protests in Kasur, which erupted after Zainab’s case surfaced, have approached him for help.
“The protesters arrested by police are being subjected to violence, those who have been jailed should be released,” he said, demanding that the police cease torture on protesters and set them free.
“The protests were peaceful but police created chaos after firing upon unarmed demonstrators,” he added.
Two protesters, Shoaib and Mohammad Ali, were reportedly killed by the police firing during a protest on January 10. This is the second time that Zainab’s father lamented about the negligence of police and authorities regarding the case, earlier he had criticised the police for “negligence in tracing out the culprit(s) in time” when his daughter was reported to be kidnapped.
A prompt action by the police could have saved his daughter, he muttered. “The police have shown negligence over the last five days. Prompt action by the police [in the days since her kidnapping] could have saved my daughter,” said the grieving father. “I was not even in Pakistan when my daughter was kidnapped,” he lamented.
Zainab, who was the 12th minor victim of rape and murder in Kasur since 2015, went missing on January 4 while heading towards a relative’s home. Her bruised body was found a few days later in a dump in the city.
The news shocked the entire country with #JusticeforZainab becoming the rallying cry while violent protests broke out in Kasur.
At least four agencies — the Counter Terrorism Department, the Intelligence Bureau, the Special Branch and the Punjab Forensic Science Agency — have been seized with the case and each agency has arrested suspects separately while investigating the matter.
SCHOOLS WILL BE OPENED:
Regarding the law and order situation in Kasur, DCO Saira Umar said that the situation was under control and school will remain open from today (Monday). “We will have to teach our children how to react to strangers’ actions,” she said. She said that such incidents were a sign that “we have failed as a nation in completing our responsibilities.”