Zainab rape and murder case in Pakistan: Police arrest key suspect

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The person, accused of rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Kasur, has been caught, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced on Tuesday.

He further demanded to bring condemning resolution in the assembly against Shehbaz Sharif for clapping during press conference in Kasur.

Mohammad Imran, who was arrested for the rape and murder of minor Zainab, will be presented in a special anti-terrorism court (ATC) today in Lahore.

The CM said that with the arrest of the culprit, the first phase has been completed.

The minor, who was a resident of the Kasur district of Pakistan's Punjab province, was kidnapped on her way to a tuition centre on January 4.

Expressing dissatisfaction over progress in the probe into the rape-murder of the minor girl, a member of the bench remarked the investigators had zeroed in on just one angle of the case. Police earlier arrested him but he got rid by deceiving police showing himself as a patient of epilepsy, though, when police failed to catch the culprit after DNA test of all neighbours of Zainab then they chose to test Imran's DNA which made his game over.

The accused is a resident of Kot Road, which is situated some 200 metres away from Zainab's home while the place where the body of minor Zainab was recovered is 300 metres away from the residence of the accused.

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"I had reservations regarding the case's proceedings earlier, but the joint investigation team (JIT) worked [and delivered results], and I am thankful to all people involved". The suspect had apparently shaved his beard off, causing some delay in facial recognition using CCTV footage.

Zainab's rape and murder shattered the entire nation, triggering widespread public outrage with people from all walks of life demanding an exemplary capital punishment for the perpetrator.

The accused was taken into custody two weeks ago but was released after the victim's family pleaded that he couldn't be the culprit.

Zainab's sister Laiba spoke to Geo News, and said if Imran was the real murderer then he should be publicly hanged. She said he used to get possessed by djinns.

The provincial government spokesperson added that a detailed forensic report would be available at 7pm, after which he would be able to confirm the reports regarding a DNA match. The police could probe the case in multiple traditional ways, he added.

Nawaz Sharif, meanwhile, issued a brief message wherein he commended Punjab Police and Shahbaz Sharif on nabbing the killer of Zainab.