Punjab Police on Friday said that the DNA tests of seven suspects in the Lahore motorway gang-rape case have been conducted, a day after the incident caused national outrage.
The horrific gang rape of the woman, in front of her children, occured on Wednesday night on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway.
Officials added that both traditional and modern methods are being used in the investigation of the incident and the province’s top cop, Inam Ghani, is personally monitoring the progress of the case.
Giving further details, provincial law enforcers also said that and area of around five kilometres around the crime scene was being sifted through for clues pointing to the perpetrators of the crime and suspicious locations were being marked.
They further said based on the evidence collected till now, seven suspects have been arrested and the results of their DNA tests are awaited.
Three different locations are also being analysed through geo-fencing and the identification process is further facilitated by recordings from local cameras, said the police.
IGP Ghani said that the “barbarians” would be arrested as soon as possible and brought to justice. “Police teams are working day and night to provide justice to the victim and her family,” he added.
First responder’s statement
Reportedly, the first to respond to the victim’s call was a Dolphin Force trooper, Ali Abbas. In his statement, he said that the call was received at 2:49 am on the police’s 15 emergency number.
He said after reaching the incident site, he searched and eventually saw a child’s show. When he proceeded down a ditch, he saw another shoe.
“Sensing that the matter was suspicious, we also fired in the air,” said the police official. “It was very dark and we could not see much. When we went further into the bushes, we heard a voice saying ‘bhai’ [brother]. When we approached the voice, we saw the victim with her children wrapped around her.A passer-by had called 15, and had left by the time we arrived.”
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar said the case will be solved soon. “Punjab Police has already arrested accused involved in such tragic incidents. We will go to the last limit,” he said. “I assure the affected family that all the requirements of justice will be met. The accused involved in the heinous incident do not deserve any concession.”
CM Buzdar has constituted a five-member committee and appointed Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat as its convener.
The team includes additional chief secretary home, additional IG special branch, DIG investigation Punjab and DG forensic agency.
The committee would conduct its inquiry in three days and submit its report to the CM and make recommendations to prevent such incidents in future.
The woman was travelling with her children when their car stalled in the Gujjarpura area as it ran out of fuel.
She called her relative and sent him her location on the motorway. When the relative reached the location, he saw the woman panic-stricken and bloodstains on her clothes. The windowpanes of her vehicle were also broken.
The woman told the police that she was waiting for her relative to pick her up and her children when two armed men attacked her. One of them struck the car with clubs and the other held them hostage at gunpoint.
The attackers then took her and the children to a nearby forested area where they gang-raped the woman.
Later, they robbed her of valuables which included Rs100,000 cash, two gold jewellery pieces, a bracelet, car registration card and three ATM cards and left her stranded.