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The Punjab police have failed to arrest the two men believed to be involved in the rape of a woman on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway, said Punjab IG Inam Ghani while addressing the media on Saturday.
A police team had reached the houses of the two suspects in Qila Sattar Shah, which is located in the Ferozewala Tehsil of Sheikhupura District. But, they ran into the fields as soon as they saw the police vehicles.
The woman was raped in front of her children by two unidentified men on the motorway. She was driving to Gujranwala when she ran out of fuel near Lahore’s Gujjarpura. The woman was sitting in her vehicle when two men walked towards her car, broke her window, and made her park on the roadside. They then took her and the children to a nearby forest and raped her.
The men fled after the rape, taking with them three ATM cards, 100,000 in cash and jewellery.
The top cop of Punjab was flanked by CM Usman Buzdar and Law Minister Raja Basharat.
The police have asked people to help them trace the suspects. The CM has even announced a Rs2.5 million award each for those who will help.
“I spoke to the survivor and assured her that justice will be dispensed,” said Buzdar at the start of the briefing. “Our policemen are in constant contact with her and we are making all efforts to take the culprits to task.”
The prime suspect has been identified as Abid Malhi, a resident of Fort Abbas in Bahawalnagar, and Waqarul Hassan as his accomplice.
The police started investigating Ali after one of the samples taken from the crime scene matched with his DNA, which was already in the Punjab Forensic Authority’s database.
“After the DNA matched, we tried to find more details about him,” said the IG. We digged into our records and found his CNIC, his address and mobile phone numbers. Four SIMs had been registered in his name. When we conducted geofencing of the crime scene, we found that one of his mobile numbers was present in the area at the time of the rape, the police officer said.
We had gone to Ali’s house in Fort Abbas and knew that he wasn’t there. We received information that he has shifted to a house in Qilla Sattar Shah. At 12pm, the police car reached his house but upon seeing the team him and his wife ran into the fields and managed to escape. They, however, left their daughter behind and she has been taken into police custody.
At the same time, another team had gone to Hassan’s house he was living in Qilla Ali Town. “But by that time that entire thing had become public so he always ran away as soon as he saw the police approaching,” the IG remarked.