Wednesday September 22, 2021

Motorway molestation: ATC sends accused on 14-day judicial remand

September 16, 2020

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Tuesday sent Shafqat Ali alias Bagga, a Motorway gang-rape accused, to jail on judicial remand for an identification parade.

Gujjarpura police produced the accused before ATC judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta amid tight security. The accused, with a muffled face, was brought to the court in an armoured vehicle.

The police informed the court that the accused was not nominated in the First Information Report (FIR) and was arrested on suspicion. The investigation officer stated that the mobile phone and the subscriber identity module (SIM) card, which was used by the accused at the time of occurrence, had been recovered. The call details record (CDR) has also been secured, he added.

It was informed that after the arrest of the accused, his swabs were collected for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) matching and were sent to Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA). The IO stated that the police received the report of PFSA which confirmed that the DNA of the accused had matched with the DNA which was collected from the crime scene and from the victim. The IO also claimed that the accused, during police custody, confessed to his crime.

The IO stated that as the accused was not nominated in the FIR, his identification parade was a requirement of the law. The IO implored the court to send the accused to jail for an identification parade.

The judge asked the accused if he wanted to say anything.

To which the accused sought mercy.

To which, the judge remarked that what mercy? And further said that his DNA had been matched. “If you have not done anything, you will be released,” the judge added.

The court, after hearing the police and the accused, sent the accused to jail on 14-day judicial remand. The court directed the jail authorities to make special arrangements so that the identity of the accused could not be disclosed to the inmates as well as to the private persons.

The court directed the investigation officer to conduct the identification parade of the accused as early as possible and produce him before the court on Sept 29.

Earlier, the accused was produced before a sessions court as the ATC judge was not available. However, the sessions judge refused to hear the remand hearing, saying it did not fall under the powers of a sessions court and referred the matter again to the ATC.

A day earlier, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) had raided the house of Shafqat’s sister in Depalpur, district Okara, and arrested him. Shafqat was in contact with the prime suspect Abid Ali Malhi before and after committing the rape.

Shafqat, in the preliminary investigation, stated that Abid had first raped the woman and then forced him to commit the same. He said that when the Dolphin officials arrived at the crime scene, they were present there. But when Dolphin squad fired a warning shot, they left the crime scene and hid in Karol jungle. After two hours, they left the jungle and reached Sheikhupura at the home of Abid Malhi, Shafqat added.

After that, both switched off their cell-phones and parted ways. Shafqat went to the house of his sister from where he was arrested, while Abid avoided a police raid and went underground, and he was still at large.

Police investigation revealed that it was a gang of four criminals including Abid Malhi, Ali Sher, Iqbal alias Bala Mistri and Shafqat alias Bagga, who used to commit crimes in Sheikhupura and other cities.