LAHORE: In another trial held inside a prison, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday handed Imran Ali — who is currently incarcerated and on death row for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Amin — the death penalty on five more counts for the rape and murder of two other girls.
Ali, a resident of Kasur, was involved in at least nine incidents of rape-cum-murder of minors, including Zainab, which he had confessed to during her murder investigation.
ATC Judge Sajjad Ahmad Sheikh handed down the penalty judgement after the prosecution established the role of 24-year-old Ali in the rape and murder charges framed in cases 352/16 and 188/17.
In case 352/16 registered in April 2016, he was sentenced to one count of death, two counts of 25 years of rigorous imprisonment, one count of two years RI and one count of one year RI under PPC Sections 376(3), 364-A, 337-A(1), and 337-F(1), and Anti-Terrorism Act Section 7(c).
He was also ordered to pay a fine of Rs1,500,000 and Rs75,000 under daman (compensation determined by the court to be paid by the offender to the victim for causing hurt not liable to arsh, the compensation specified for offences relating to various kinds of hurt).
Failure to pay the fines will result in an additional six months of imprisonment.
In case 188/17 filed in Feb 2017, he received four counts of death, and one count of life imprisonment under PPC Sections 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of fourteen), 376(3) (rape of minor), 302-B (punishment for qatl-e-amd), and 377 (unnatural offences); and Section 7(a) ATA (punishment for acts of terrorism).
He was also ordered to pay three fines of Rs1,000,000 each and Rs1,000,000 as compensation to the victim’s heirs. In case of failure to pay any of the amounts, he will have to undergo an additional six months imprisonment.
On Saturday, the ATC handed Ali the death sentence on 12 counts for the rape and murder of three other minor girls.
Three more cases remain pending against Ali.
Zainab’s rape and murder earlier this year had sparked outrage and protests across the country after the six-year-old, who went missing on January 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on January 9.
Her case was the twelfth such incident to occur within a 10-kilometre radius in the city over a 12-month period.
The heinous nature of the crime had seen immediate riots break out in Kasur — in which two people were killed — while #JusticeforZainab became a rallying cry for an end to violence against children.
The Punjab government had declared the arrest of Ali, the prime suspect, on January 23.
On June 12, the Supreme Court rejected Ali’s appeal against the death sentence handed to him for the rape and murder of Zainab, noting that the petitioner had admitted committing similar offences with eight other minor victims and “in that backdrop, he did not deserve any sympathy in the matter of his sentences”.
Imran had filed the appeal challenging the death sentence handed to him in February, claiming his trial was not fair. He still has the right to seek clemency from President Mamnoon Hussain.