Lahore (January 15, 2018): Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah remarked on Monday that the Punjab government and police appear non-serious in the rape and murder case of Zainab.
He made the remarks after the non-appearance of the Punjab police chief, while hearing the suo motu notice of the Zainab’s case.
Chief Justice observed that if the police had taken action in 2015 ─ when the first case against a serial killer was reported in Kasur ─ the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab could have been prevented.During the hearing, the former head of the joint investigation team, Additional Inspector General (AIG) AIG Abu Bakr Khuda Baksh appeared in court.
The AIG submitted the report regarding Zainab case on behalf of IG Punjab and informed the court that the first incident of child abuse in Kasur was reported in June 2015.
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When asked, the director general told the court that the first case was reported in 2015. He added that at the time, a joint investigation team had been formed and DNA tests were conducted.
Last year, it became clear that a serial killer was behind the cases, the DG added.
“Your investigations should have started in 2015,” LHC Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah said.
“We were trying to find evidence to base our investigation on,” the court was told.
“If you had taken action at the time, Zainab’s case could have been prevented,” the chief justice said.The additional advocate general, also present during the hearing, told the court that 108 cases of rape are pending before the sessions courts in Kasur. He added eight of the most recent cases have not been traced as yet.
“These cases should be heard on a daily basis,” the chief justice said, as he sought Zainab’s complete medical reports.
The court remarked that the seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that the Punjab IG did not appear in court today.
“Had the government taken action against similar suspects earlier the present incident would not have occurred,” the chief justice observed.
The chief justice asked the government and police to admit their failure.The AIG informed the court that 67 DNA tests have been carried out as part of the case’s investigation so far, adding that it appears that a serial killer is involved.
The state counsel informed the court that the same serial killer is involved in the case of Kainat Batool, another Kasur victim undergoing treatment at a Lahore hospital.
The chief justice directed the authorities to provide the best possible treatment to Batool.
Later, the chief justice formed a special court and ruled that child abuse cases should now go to the court, which has to conduct daily proceedings.
The case was then adjourned until January 17, with the court directing authorities to submit details of similar cases against girls in Kasur and action taken against the suspects.At the last hearing of the case on Friday, the chief justice had given the police chief 36 hours to nab the suspect.
Seven-year-old Zainab, a resident of Road Kot area of Kasur, was kidnapped on January 4 when she ventured out of the house. Her body was found in a garbage pile near Kashmir Chowk five days later.