Lahore : An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan on Monday indicted the prime accused in the brutal rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Punjab province, an incident that sparked a nation-wide outrage.
The girl went missing while going for tuition near her aunt’s house in Kasur city, some 50 kilometres from Lahore, on January 5. Her body was found in a garbage heap, five days after her kidnapping.
During the hearing, judge Sajjad Ahmad indicted prime suspect Imran Ali Naqshbandi in the murder case, Geo News reported. Imran was arrested on January 23. His trial is being held on a daily basis inside the jail premises.
The Lahore High Court has directed the anti-terrorism court to wrap up the trial within seven days of the suspect’s indictment.
Imran’s DNA also matched samples taken from seven other minor girls who were abused and murdered earlier in Kasur. Evidence against the accused includes DNA and polygraph tests, his own clothes, CCTV footage and the medical report.
A list of 55 witnesses has also been submitted before the court. After the police arrested Imran, the suspect reportedly confessed to assaulting eight minor girls at an under- construction site and two others in a garbage heap. He also admitted to murdering five minor girls at an under-construction site and throwing away the bodies of three others in a garbage pile, the report said quoting sources.
Earlier, police sources confirmed Imran, a neighbour of the girl, had confessed to his crime before an investigation team. Imran was familiar with the victim’s family and would also frequent her house.
Violent protests gripped the Kasur city following the minor’s rape and murder that claimed two lives. The shocking incident also stirred a national outcry demanding justice for her. Last year, 4,139 incidents of child abuse took place in the Punjab province where 43 per cent of them were acquainted with perpetrators.