LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the murderer of Zainab Ansari has been arrested by the collective and concerted efforts of police and other law enforcement agencies in 14 days.
Accompanied by Zainab Ansari's father, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a press conference and formally announced the arrest of the suspected child killer, Muhammad Imran Ali.
"We have arrested the serial killer of Zainab Ansari due to the untiring efforts of civil and military agencies," Shehbaz Sharif said. "The beast has confessed to heinous crimes," he said.
He said that DNA test of Imran Ali has been matched with those collected from all victims.
The chief minister said that a polygraph test was also conducted to verify the findings of DNA and it confirmed that Imran Ali was the killer of Zainab Ansari.
"We are also thankful of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) for his support for the arrest of the killer."
The chief minister appealed to Chief Justice of Lahore High Court to try the suspect in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) on day to day basis to ensure speedy justice for the families of the victims.
"I understand the pain and agony of Zainab's parents, but we all must adhere to the law of the land.." "If it was in my hand, I would have hanged this beast publicly to make an example out of it."
"Our teams had conducted the DNA tests of more than 1100 people to make sure that no innocent person was prosecuted," he said.
He also thanked the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory.
To a question, he said that he was also thankful to Punjab Special Branch and other agencies who worked day and night to resolve this issue.
The chief minister was told during the press conference that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had sought help from Punjab Forensic Laboratory to identify the killers of Asma.
Zainab's father thanks JIT, police
Speaking on this occasion, Zainab's father Amin Ansari thanked the JIT, police and his relatives for their efforts to apprehend the suspect.
"I was in Saudi Arabia and when I was told about my daughter's disappearance, I rushed back to Pakistan," he said, adding that he appealed to the army chief and CJP to take notice of the incident.
The chief minister said that his government would not sit idle unless Imran was tried and punished.
He said that his government was also ready to extend its support to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for apprehending Asma's rapist.
The suspect, Imran Ali, had sexually assaulted and murdered at least eight minor girls, including Zainab Ansari, within a radius of one kilometer in two and a half years.
The suspected serial killer was arrested from Pakpattan after a brief encounter with police.
The DNA test confirmed that he was behind all cases of sexual assault involving minor girls. The suspect, according to the police, also confessed to have raped and killed Zainab Ansari.
Police said that his DNA matched with the samples collected from the victims.
The suspected suspect, who is said to be 23 years old, was familiar with Zainab’s family and would also frequent the minor girl’s house. He is a resident of Kot Road, where Zainab also lived in.
Kasur police spokesperson Sajid Ali said the suspect was arrested overnight and has confessed to the crime.
Meanwhile, the father of the deceased child said he was unaware of the arrest of Imran.
According to him, Zainab’s uncle suspected that Imran was the culprit. He added that Imran was initially arrested soon after the case was reported but he was set free. The family is unaware of his re-arrest. - SAMAA