25 September 2020
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A woman was raped in front of her children by two unidentified men on the motorway on September 9. The case has rattled the country and reignited the debate on whether capital punishment should be fixed for rapists or not.

Here are all the latest updates:

September 15

Prime suspect’s ‘gang member’ arrested

The Lahore police have arrested another suspect, identified as Iqbal alias Bala Mistry, in the case.

Mistry, who was arrested in Sialkot, is said to be a suspected gang member of the prime suspect Abid Malhi. His name was disclosed by another suspect, Shafqat.

Shafqat said that Malhi had called him to Lahore and he was accompanied by Mistry. But Mistry drove away even before they reached Lahore.

September 14

Two suspects arrested

The police arrested one of the two main suspects from Dipalpur in Okara district. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar confirmed the arrest of Shafqat Ali, saying that his DNA had matched and the suspect had confessed to the crime.

Earlier in the day, another suspected surrendered to the Sheikhupura police. The suspect, identified as Abbas, is the brother-in-law of Waqar, who was named as one of the main suspects in the case during a press conference on September 12. The police said that Waqar’s name propped up as his mobile SIM was traced at the motorway during geofencing.

Lahore CCPO should apologise for blaming survivor: court

The Lahore CCPO and cabinet should’ve apologised for blaming the survivor in the Lahore motorway rape case, said Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan while hearing a petition on the formation of a judicial commission in the case. “What sort of a departmental head holds the victim responsible for the crime?”

The chief justice has summoned a complete report from the government’s lawyer. He has instructed the Punjab IG to submit a report on the security plan of all the roads.

CCPO Lahore appears in court

“This portion [of motorway] was operating without handing and taking over,” CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh remarked. Many motorways have been built in the last few years. “I have said in earlier meetings that we don’t have the personnel to depute.”

The 130 [motorway helpline] person did the right thing by arranging a conference call of the woman and an FWO major. She should have called 15. It’s common sense, he said.

The chief justice asked him, why should she have called herself? “When she had called 130, they should have contacted 15. The major she talked to should have informed 15.”

Murad Saeed: Lahore rape didn’t take place on motorway

Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said that the Gujjarpura gang rape of a woman that enraged the whole country didn’t take place on the Sialkot-Lahore motorway.

“Let me repeat it again, the incident didn’t take place on the motorway,” Saeed said in the National Assembly. The minister, however, didn’t specify the area where it took place.

Read the complete story here.

Pakistani celebs take to Karachi streets

Mahira Khan, Ali Rehman Khan, Ayesha Omar, Yasir Hussain, Aijaz Aslam, Wajahat Rauf and many other celebrities turned up outside the Karachi Press Club to protest sexual harassment and abuse of women and children across the country.

Photo: mystapaki/InstagramSeptember 13

Suspect surrenders to police

Suspect Waqarul Hassan surrendered to the CIA Model Town police. The suspect denied any involvement in the case.

The 36-year-old surrendered after his CNIC card and picture were flashed across multiple television channels. He arrived at the police station with a relative at 11am on Sunday and surrendered before duty SP Hasnain.

Police sources say that the man has denied being near the crime scene at the time of the rape. He has a criminal background and was released from jail two weeks ago.

September 12

Punjab IG reveals the names of suspects

Punjab IG Inam Ghani announced, in a press conference, that they have identified the two men involved in the crime, adding that the police tried to arrest them but they managed to escape.

The prime suspect was identified as Abid Ali, a resident of Fort Abbas in Bahawalnagar, and Waqarul Hassan as his accomplice.

The police asked people to help them trace the suspects. The CM even announced a Rs2.5 million award each for those who will help.

Women and men stage protests across Pakistan

Women and men across Pakistan staged a protest against the rape. The protests were held in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan and Hyderabad.

Photo: SAMAA DigitalCJP says govt needs to ‘wake up’

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed expressed concern over the Lahore motorway rape case and says the government needed to “wake up”. He said that the police were currently in the hands of “juvenile” and “non-professional” individuals.

Court petitioned to form judicial commission

A lawyer, Nadeem Sarwar, filed a petition in the Lahore High Court seeking the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the case. In his petition, he has mentioned rape cases from 2018 and 2019 and asked the court to summon five years worth of data on rape cases and make them public.

Punjab Forensic Authority matches possible rapist’s DNA

Fifty-three DNA samples were taken after the rape. One of the samples taken from the crime scene matched with DNA already in the Punjab Forensic Authority’s database.

The match was of a 25-year-old Bahawalnagar resident who raped a mother and daughter in 2013, according to police sources. His DNA was at three spots at the crime scene– the victim’s clothes, the smashed car window, and inside the car itself.

September 13

Punjab Police take charge of motorway’s security

The Punjab Police took charge of the security of the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway and deployed 250 personnel of the Special Protection Unit, CSP, and Highway Patrol Unit.

The stretch of the motorway was unmanned.

48 DNA samples collected by Punjab police

The Punjab police decided to obtain DNA samples of residents living in areas near where the woman was raped. At least 48 samples were taken.

September 10

Twelve suspects arrested

Twelve people were taken into custody over their suspected involvement. The police even collected evidence from the site.

At least 20 teams were formed to investigate the case. This includes teams of the Special Branch, CIA, and Investigation Police.

Police say there is only one village near the area.
Residents are being questioned about the incident.

CCPO Lahore to lead the investigation

Shahbaz Gill, the special assistant to the PM on political communication, said the Lahore CCPO is leading the investigation and they are using the techniques of urban and rural policing.

CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh’s controversial remarks

Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh’s remarks about the woman’s decision
to take the motorway with her children have been widely criticised by
politicians and activists on social media.

Umar Sheikh, the Lahore CCPO, appeared on Dunya News after the rape was reported and preferred to talk about the survivor’s decision to take the motorway with her children before explaining what his force was doing to apprehend the criminals.

Click here to read what he said.

September 9

Woman raped on motorway

A woman was raped in front of her children by two unidentified men on the Lahore-Sialkot 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.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and the Punjab IG took notice of the incident and orders officials to submit a report.

Abdul Gh Lone