–Accused Suhail Shehzad identified as rapist and murderer of four minor boys after polygraphic and DNA testing
–Shehzad previously spent five years in jail on sodomy charges
LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday announced that the serial killer behind the rape and murders of four minor boys in Kasur district has been identified.
Addressing a press conference here, Buzdar said that 27-year-old Suhail Shehzad had been identified using polygraphic and DNA testing.
“Geo-fencing for 1,649 suspects was done and DNA samples of 1,543 were tested,” said Buzdar.
The chief minister confirmed that the suspect was behind all four cases of sodomy and murder which shook Kasur last month and shone fresh light on the continued prevalence of child sexual abuse in the country.
“The case against him will be pursued in an anti-terrorism court,” he announced, adding that “I will oversee the Chunian case myself”.
He said that action has been taken against police officials because of whom the case got prolonged; however, no further details were given in this regard.
According to the Punjab inspector general of police, the suspect is a resident of Rana Town and committed the crimes in June, August and September.
Four children — aged between eight and 12 years — had gone missing since June with the latest, Faizan, 8, disappearing on the night of September 16.
The remains of three were found on September 17 from sand dunes near Chunian bypass.
Shehzad grabbed the police’s attention after his brother filed a missing person’s report on September 22. According to the police complaint, Shehzad took the family’s tractor to the market in the Chunian area and then disappeared.
Police used Shehzad’s four mobile numbers to trace his location. After finding him in Rahim Yar Khan district, he was arrested and brought to Kasur for DNA testing.
One reason for linking Shehzad to the crime, officials said, was that when the police searched for his phone’s locations over the past few days, one of his numbers was found to be in the area from where Faizan had gone missing.
According to sources, Shehzad had also spent five years in jail after being convicted for sodomy a few years ago.
In the last few years, Kasur has been rocked by multiple incidents of abuse, rape and killing of children. In January 2018, six-year-old Zainab Ansari was found dead in a trash heap near Shahbaz Khan Road, five days after she went missing. Hers was the 12th such incident to have occurred within a 10-kilometre radius in Kasur over a 12-month period. Her death had sparked nationwide protests and outrage.
The prime suspect, Imran Ali, had been arrested on Jan 23, 2018, and on June 12 the Supreme Court had turned down his appeal against the death sentence, noting that he had admitted to committing similar offences with eight other minor victims. Ali was subsequently executed in October.
In 2015, Kasur’s Hussain Khanwala village had attracted worldwide attention when a child pornography ring was busted. Hundreds of video clips had emerged showing a gang forcing dozens of minor boys and girls to perform sexual acts and filming them. The gang had also used the videos to blackmail families of the children and extorted millions in cash and jewellery from them.