Zainab Ansari case: Pakistani man to be executed on 17 October for rape and murder of seven-year-old

Lahore: A Pakistani man, who was convicted in the rape and murder case of a seven-year-old girl in Punjab province in January, will be executed on 17 October as an anti-terrorism court on Friday issued his death warrants.

The incident in January triggered nation-wide street protests in Pakistan with people demanding a harsh punishment for the accused, 23-year-old Imran Ali.

Violent protests gripped the Kasur city following her murder that claimed two lives.

Protests gripped Pakistan following Zainab’s murder in January. Reuters

Protests gripped Pakistan following Zainab’s murder in January. Reuters

According to an order issued by anti-terrorism court Judge Sheikh Sajjad Ahmed, Ali's death sentence will be carried out on 17 October at Central Jail Lahore, Dawn news reported.

"Today's warrants were issued after President Arif Alvi rejected Ali's appeal for clemency in the Zainab case on 10 October," said Prosecutor Abdul Rauf Watoo.

Ali, a resident of Kasur, was accused of being involved in at least nine incidents of rape-cum-murder of minors, the report said.

On 5 January, the girl went missing while going to a religious tuition centre near her house in Kasur city, some 50 kilometres from Lahore. Her parents were in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and she was living with her maternal aunt.

After her abduction, a CCTV footage showed her walking with a stranger near Peerowala Road.

On 9 January, her body was recovered from a heap of trash near the Shahbaz Khan Road. Autopsy report had confirmed rape.

Out of the seven rape and murder cases registered against Imran, the court has given its verdict in five.

The court on 17 February gave him four counts of death penalty, one life term, a 7-year jail term and Rs 4.1 million in fines.

The four death penalties were for kidnapping, raping and murdering the girl, and for committing an act of terrorism punishable under Section 7 of the Anti Terrorism Act (ATA).

In total, Imran Ali has been sentenced to 21 counts of death, three life sentences and a cumulative 23 years in jail.

The incident stirred a national outcry demanding justice for the minor girl.

Police carried out DNA test of more than 1,000 suspects.

In 2017, as many as 4,139 incidents of child abuse took place in the province where 43 per cent of them were acquainted with perpetrators.

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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 22:38:04 IST

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