NEWS DESK: A special bench of the Supreme Court heard the rape and murder cases of Zainab and at least eight other children at the registry in Lahore on Sunday.
The three-judge bench was headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar who presided over the hearing of the suo motu notice.
During the hearing, the Joint-Investigation Team (JIT) led by RPO Multan Muhammad Idrees presented a report detailing inquiry into the rape and murder cases of the Kasur children. The JIT found it to be eighth such incident within the jurisdiction of three police stations involving the same suspect as per DNA match in Kasur since 2015.
Nevertheless, the Punjab Forensic Laboratory sought more time to reach any conclusion. The court gave them another deadline of three days.
During multi-media briefing to the bench, Muhammad Idrees explained the events of Zainab’s disappearance, rape and murder. According to him, Zainab was kidnapped on January 4 while she on the way to her aunt’s place for religious lessons. Once the family realised she was missing, they informed police through the helpline 15.
He told the court that the police had taken DNA samples of over 800 suspects, adding that DNA result of Zainab’s rapist, murderer had matched with those from seven previous cases of the same nature.
The CJP grilled them about the Station House Officer (SHO) posted in the district for last three years, asking why was he not removed despite complaints by residents. He observed that such incidents had been taking place in two jurisdictions since 2015 yet the police had not made any inquiry.
The SC judges also remarked that the police was relying on DNA tests alone when they could use other resources to apprehend the suspect. They remarked that the method taken by investigating team would require taking DNA samples of 21 million people, directing police to take measures other than DNA tests to solve the case.
The bench reprimanded Kasur police for failing to take notice of crime when it was first reported in 2015. “If the police had taken first case that surfaced in 2015 seriously, eight young girls would not have been raped and murdered.”
JIT members including Chief Secretary Punjab Zahid Saeed, Director-General Punjab Forensic Science Agency Dr Muhammad Ashraf Tahir appeared before the court. Parents of Zainab and other eight victims were also present in the courtroom and demanded justice.