Rawalpindi serial knife attacker given life sentence after stabbing 17 women, killing 1

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RAWALPINDI: A serial knife attacker who claims he stabbed at least 17 women and killed one in Rawalpindi in 2016 was awarded a life sentence on Friday.

Muhammad Ali, 24, had targeted working women in the city over a period of a few months, usually attacking them in the night during load-shedding hours, when the streets would be dark. Police had said he targeted women ‘for fun’ in order to spread panic, and had been inspired by slasher films.

One of his victims, Anum Naz, a 26-year-old nurse at the Fauji Foundation Hospital, had died after he stabbed her while she was going to her hostel. Her colleague was also severely injured in the attack.

Ali was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department after he was identified at a tandoor in Morgah during a search operation on August 12, 2016.

Rawalpindi Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Qamar Sultan sentenced Muhammad Ali to life in jail on the murder charge and gave him 10 years in prison for attempted murder.

The accused was present in court as the judge read out his sentence.

In his confessional statement earlier, Ali had admitted that he “felt satisfaction” after stabbing women because he “hated” them.

According to his statement, Ali had said his mother was mistreated by her in-laws and had died from cancer when he was a year old. He had stated that his father remarried and his stepmother did not treat him well, due to which he lived with his grandfather and aunt in Morgah.

He further added that an unfaithful lover was also one of the reasons behind his attacks on other women.

Ali said that after conducting his first crime in February 2016, he had left the city for Kahuta. However, he had returned to Rawalpindi and continued his attacks.

He used to go out every night after dark and target women who were alone. He confessed that he had once stabbed three different women within an hour one night.

He said he had used a kitchen knife to attack the victims, which he then put back with the rest of his utensils for daily use upon returning home.

It is important to mention that although Ali stabbed a number of women, only one case was registered against him ─ for the murder of Anum Naz and the attempted murder of her friend. None of the other women who were stabbed by Ali ever approached the court.