Motorway gang-rape case: ATC sends accused Shafqat to jail on 14-day judicial remand

Dunya News

Motorway rape case: Suspect Shafqat is being trialed under terrorism and other provisions.

LAHORE (Dunya News) - The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has transferred Shafqat, accused of raping a woman on motorway near Gujarpura, to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

According to details the court granted the prosecution s request for an identity parade. Anti-terrorism court judge Arshad Hussain Bhatta heard the case.

Gujjarpura police brought accused Shafqat in an armored vehicle and produced him before the court. On this occasion, the accused s face was covered with a cloth.

The prosecution requested that the identity of the accused be paraded and he be sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

The court directed the police to parade the identity of the accused as soon as possible and make special arrangements for it.

Court ordered that care should be taken that the accused could not join the other accused and the accused should be produced again on September 29.

According to the sources, on this occasion, the superior judge asked the accused Shafqat, "Tell me if you have anything to say?" In response, the accused requested, "Please release me."

The judge told the accused that your DNA has been matched, if you have not done anything, you will be released.

Earlier the session’s court in Lahore on Tuesday had handed over suspect Shafqat, who had confessed to raping a woman in front of her children on motorway near Gujjarpura, in police custody on six-day physical remand.

According to details, the suspect is being trialed under terrorism and other provisions. On the occasion, strict security arrangements have been taken to avoid any untoward incident.

Police arrest prime suspect’s accomplice Bala Mistri

Earlier today, the security forces have arrested main suspect Abid Ali’s accomplice Iqbal alias Bala Mistri. The officers told that Bala Mistri received call from Abid Ali to reach the crime scene but, he [Iqbal] returned midway at the time of the incident.

Dunya News obtains picture of Bala Mistri

Security personnel are also facing difficulties in case proceedings due to unavailability of victim’s statement whereas raids are being carried out for early arrest of prime suspect Abid.

Suspect Shafqat confesses to crime during interrogation

Earlier, Punjab police sources said that Shafqat, the accomplice of prime Suspect Abid Ali, had confessed to raping a woman on the motorway in his initial statement recorded to the police. He also confessed to committing 11 other such crimes with Abid Ali as well.

Shafqat told police that they stayed at Qila Sattar Shah the night after the Lahore motorway incident. The next day, they split up with him going to Depalpur and Abid going to his father’s house in Manga Mandi. He revealed that he had last contacted Abid three days ago.

This confession comes after Shafqat’s DNA had matched with the samples collected from the crime scene.

Shafqat was arrested from Dipalpur on Sunday on the identification of alleged co-accused Waqar-ul-Hassan, who appeared at CIA police station in Lahore’s Model Town.

The investigators further told that Waqar-ul-Hassan has not been found involved in the case after his DNA test report came negative.

Revelations made by Waqar-ul-Hassan

While making important revelations during interrogation, Waqar told that prime suspect Abid has committed several heinous crimes with his accomplice Shafqat who is a resident of Bahawalnagar.

Afterwards, CIA has sent teams to Bahawalnagar, Lahore and Sheikhupura for the arrest of Shafqat.

On the other hand, Waqar is likely to be presented before the local court whereas identification parade will also be held to recognize the suspects.

Abbas surrenders to police in Sheikhupura

Meanwhile, Waqar’s brother-in-law Abbas has also surrendered to police in Sheikhupura. Sources told that Abbas was using mobile phone connection issued on Waqar’s name. 

LHC orders early arrest of suspects involved in motorway gang rape incident

Lahore High Court (LHC) had ordered the investigation authorities to arrest suspects involved motorway incident and sought inquiry report, copy of show-cause notice to Inspector General of Punjab Inam Ghani by Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, record of security arrangements and notification regarding formation of committee for probe into the incident.

During the hearing, Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh appeared before the court and said that identification process of the suspects has been started as the details of the mishap have been gathered from the victim. We have carried out DNA tests of 53 people and found Abid as prime suspect, he told.

The judge further remarked that it’s the duty of the government to provide protection to the general masses. The court has to play important role in the current scenario. The time has come to deeply investigate the performance of the police department, he hinted.

Suspects in motorway rape incident identified

Earlier, pictures of both suspects Abid Malhi and his accomplice Waqarul Hasan Shah in Lahore Motorway rape incident were released to the public.

According to police, criminal Abid Ali is a resident of Fort Abbas District, Bahawalnagar and his DNA profile matched with DNA samples recovered from the victim’s clothing.

Dunya News obtained the criminal record of Abid Ali, who has been in the criminal database since 2013 for another rape case. He has not been arrested yet but CTD raids are being carried out to arrest him at the earliest.

His accomplice Waqarul Hasan’s photograph was also released by IG Punjab during a press conference with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Saturday. The Punjab government had set a Rs 2.5Mn reward for each suspect’s arrest.

Earlier Developments

Police decided to include relatives of the affected woman in investigations along with the claimant. It was decided to conduct DNA tests of all residents of Karol Ghati as samples of fifteen arrested suspects did no match.

The investigation committee formed by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat and Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani inspected the crime scene.

The authorities said that the investigation was being carried out according to the latest scientific methods and assured that the culprits would be nabbed soon.

CM Usman Buzdar said in his statement that it was a test case which would be brought to logical conclusion soon and the culprits would be given exemplary punishments. The CM directed to authorities to keep him informed of the entire progress.

Police contacted the victim to record her statement but her family apologized from recording the statement citing that her health condition was not good at the moment. The focal person said it was understandable and agreed to record the statement later.

PM Imran Khan takes notice of Lahore motorway rape incident

Prime Minister Imran Khan took notice of recent sexual assault crimes reported in Lahore and Karachi, specifically the rape of a woman on Lahore Ring Road and murder of a 5-year-old child after being raped in Karachi.

Federal Minister Faisal Vawda called on Prime Minister Imran Khan in which the political and national situation was discussed in detail.

Faisal Vawda raised the issue of Marwa, the 5 year old girl who was killed after being raped in Karachi and another rape incident that took place with a woman on Lahore Ring Road late Wednesday night.

Taking note of these incidents, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that such crimes are extremely shameful for any civilized society, law enforcement agencies have been tasked with arresting the culprits at the earliest.

Committees formed to investigate incident

Punjab government constituted a high level committee to investigate the motorway rape case

The committee will be headed by Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat while Additional Chief Secretary Home Department Momin Agha, Additional IG Special Branch, DIG Investigation Punjab and DG Forensic Science Agency will be the other members.

The committee has been tasked to complete the investigation within three days and submit the report to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

IG Punjab Inam Ghani has also formed a six-member special investigation committee to investigate the Motorway rape case.

DIG Investigation Lahore Shahzada Sultan will head the committee while SSP Investigation Lahore Zeeshan Asghar, RO Special Branch Lahore Jahanzeb Nazir, RO CTD Lahore Naseebullah Khan, SP CIA Lahore Asim Iftikhar and in charge Gender Crimes Civil Lines Lahore Miss Fiza Azam will be the other members of the committee.

Culprits of motorway gang rape will be apprehended soon: Usman Buzdar

Chief Minister (CM) Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said that the perpetrators of Lahore motorway gang rape will be arrested soon.

While talking exclusively to Dunya News in program ‘Dunya Kamran Khan Kay Sath’, the CM said that the area where the incident took place has been geo-fenced.

We cannot neglect our duties. On this incident, we have formed a committee headed by the Home Secretary. Whatever the outcome, we will present it to the nation, he added.

"We will soon arrest the culprits," he said. Every aspect of this incident will be investigated, we will not run away from our duties, he assured.

Case background

On September 9, 2020, mother of two children was looted and raped at gunpoint on motorway near Gujjarpura area of the Punjab province.

Sana was reportedly travelling in a car along with her two children when some unknown accused overpowered her. After raping and robbing the victim of valuables and cash (1 lakh), the suspects escaped from the scene.

On receipt of the information, the police reached the spot and shifted the woman to a hospital. The police said the process to identify the accused through the Safe City cameras was underway.