Zainab Ansari rape and murder case: DNA nails suspect; Shahbaz Sharif favours public hanging of 'beast'

Lahore: A 23-year-old neighbour has been arrested in the brutal rape and murder case of a minor girl and his DNA sample matched with the sample found from the victim's body, days after the heinous crime in Kasur city in Pakistan's Punjab province sparked a national outrage.

Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif told a press conference on Tuesday that the police had arrested Imran Ali, a serial killer, who raped and murdered the minor girl.

"The DNA and polygraph tests of this beast have been matched," Sharif said and proposed changes in the law so that he could be hanged in public.

 Zainab Ansari rape and murder case: DNA nails suspect; Shahbaz Sharif favours public hanging of beast

Representational image. Reuters

"Like the whole nation I am also in favour of public hanging of this beast but we will have to see what changes could be made in the law in this regard. I request the chief justice to conclude the case as early as possible so that this serial killer could meet his fate," he added.

He praised the forensic laboratory that conducted more than 1,200 DNA tests to reach out the culprit. He said Ali was involved in killing of seven other girls in Kasur.

Earlier, police sources confirmed that the suspect, a neighbour of the seven-year-old victim, had confessed to his crime before an investigation team.

Forensic specialists also confirmed that the DNA sample from the accused matches with the sample found from the girl's body.

The suspect was known to the girl's family and would also frequent her house, police sources said.

They said he had been taken into custody over two weeks ago but was let go on the victim family's plea that 'he could not be a culprit'.

Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmad said that the suspect had confessed to his crime.

He said the suspect was arrested from Pakpatan district of Punjab.

On 5 January, the girl had gone missing while going to a religious tuition centre near her house in Kasur city, some 50-km from Lahore. Her parents had been in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and she had been 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.

Police have carried out DNA test of more than 1,000 suspects. The Supreme Court on last Sunday gave a 72-hour deadline to Inspector General of Police to arrest the culprit.

Violent protests gripped the Kasur city following the girl's murder that claimed two lives. The incident also stirred a national outcry demanding justice for her.

The chief minister said the suspect was arrested earlier but was freed when he complained that he had heart problems.

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

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Updated Date: Jan 23, 2018 22:44:04 IST