LAHORE: Imran Ali, who was arrested for the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab, has been remanded to 14-day police custody by a special anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Lahore.
ATC Judge Sheikh Sajjad granted the police remand after Imran Ali was presented before the ATC amidst tight security on Wednesday. The accused will be presented again before the court on February 8.
During the court proceedings, Imran admitted to the rape and murder of Zainab.
The suspect is a serial killer based in Kasur, who is accused of raping and murdering 6-7 girls over the course of two years.
CONFESSIONAL VIDEO OF ACCUSED IMRAN SURFACES:
The confessional video of the accused in the rape and murder of seven-year-old Zainab, surfaced later on Wednesday.
In the video, Imran, whose involvement in the case was confirmed by CM Shehbaz on Tuesday, said that he tricked Zainab by telling her that he would take her to meet her parents – who had gone to Saudi Arabia to perform Umra.
Imran further said in the video that he roamed around with Zainab for quite some time and told the victim that he had forgotten the way back home.
The accused then narrated that he saw a light at some distance and moved towards it, but he told Zainab that they should return after seeing that there was a man standing there.
IMRAN LURED VICTIMS ON PRETEXT OF SWEETS
According to the details given by the prosecutor in the ATC, 23-year-old Imran used to lure his victims by promising to buy them sweets and other goods.
Imran would take the girls out on the pretext of buying candy and hair clips. He took Kainat Batool out on the pretext of buying yogurt and later raped her. She survived and is presently under treatment at a hospital in Lahore.
Furthermore, Imran used to kidnap girls from the houses where he was employed. He allegedly confessed to raping eight girls in under-construction houses and two on garbage piles.
According to his confession, Imran kidnapped Zainab at 6:45 pm. and when he couldn’t find an appropriate hiding place, he roamed around with her for over 1.5 kilometres and finally took her to a pile of garbage.
According to a BBC report, the jacket owned by Imran, which was identified by the police as the same garment worn by the suspect in the CCTV footage, was also instrumental in his capture.
The CCTV video showed the suspect wearing a zip-up jacket having two large buttons on either side. Even though the CCTV video did not clearly show the jacket’s colour, police identified the garment as an important evidence and carried out a raid at the suspect’s house where a black jacket with a similar design was found.
According to the report, Imran’s mother aided the police in tracking him down after she came to know that her son’s DNA sample matched with the traces found on Zainab’s body.
ZAINAB’S PARENTS DEMAND ACTION AGAINST FACILITATORS:
In an interview with a private TV channel, Zainab’s father Ameen Ansari alleged that Imran was not the only criminal behind his daughter’s murder and that accomplices to the crime should also be apprehended.
According to Ansari, the culprit hid his daughter for a number of days and that he had accomplices who aided him in this crime.
“We demand that his facilitators be arrested as well,” Ansari stated.
Zainab’s mother also demanded justice for her daughter and stated that the culprit should be given an exemplary punishment by executing him in public.
KEY SUSPECT ARRESTED:
Earlier, on Tuesday, addressing a press conference in Lahore, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif formally announced the arrest of the key suspect in the gruesome case.
“Zainab’s suspected murderer and rapist is a 24-year-old man named Imran Ali,” CM Shehbaz announced.
According to details, DNA samples of Imran Ali were sent to Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) in Lahore along with 1,050 other samples that were taken over the course of the investigations. Report from PFSA confirmed that Imran’s DNA sample matched with the traces that were collected from Zainab’s body.
Furthermore, according to police, the suspect confessed to carrying out the heinous crime, and a polygraph test was also conducted which came positive, following which the criminal has been shifted to an undisclosed location.
The killer has reportedly told police that “djinn” is responsible for the rapes and murder of little girls, essentially saying that he was possessed by an entity.
It was revealed that Imran was initially booked on suspicion of involvement in the rape and murder of Zainab but was later released after his DNA samples were collected by the police. It was only after PFSA confirmed the matching of the DNA samples that he was rearrested on January 20 from Pakpattan.
Additionally, according to reports, Imran had shaved his beard after the incident which helped him evade arrest till now as the CCTV footage showed a man sporting a beard.