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September 18, 2020

Motorway gang rape: Victim has identified both accused: Fayyazul Hassan Chohan


September 18, 2020

LAHORE: Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Thursday announced that the Motorway gang-rape victim has identified both perpetrators of the crime. 

"The woman has identified both Abid and Shafqat," Chohan told a press conference in Lahore. He said the victim also promised cooperation with the authorities for further investigation into the case. "It was due to Waqarul Hasan’s arrest that we were able to reach Shafqat," he added.

Abid Ali, the prime suspect in the case, remains at large, while Shafqat Ali was arrested on Monday for his alleged involvement in the case. Chohan, flanked by Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Umar Sheikh, the minister said all sections of the police were working diligently and close contacts of the main accused, Abid Ali, were in police custody.

About the controversial statement of the CCPO, he said Umar Sheikh had admitted his mistake and apologised, but the opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif, instead of expressing solidarity with the affected family on the floor of the National Assembly, proudly made a false claim to have started the construction of Lahore-Sialkot Motorway during his tenure. He should have apologised to the nation on the Assembly floor, Chohan said.

The information minister said the Punjab CM was considering authorising Punjab Police to take action against any negative activity related to cyber crime or sectarianism in the province. He said that Shahbaz Sharif, who had repeatedly accused the PTI government of changing inspector general of police (IGP) Punjab, had changed nine IGs in his 10-year tenure. "Unlike previous governments, our manifesto is to serve people better instead of useless drama," he added.

He also told the media that an uncouth youth threatening a girl on the social media had also been arrested. He congratulated the CCPO Lahore and ASP Raza Tanvir for arresting the accused and his father within 10 hours on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

He said now there was a clear difference in the attitude of Lahore Police in particular and Punjab Police in general. He said that no hooligan, bully and vagrant character would be allowed to cast an evil eye on mothers, sisters and daughters.

He said any victim of blackmail should contact his office if there was no redress of any complaint in this regard. He said all institutions should overcome their shortcomings and improve their dealings so that the confidence of people in the government and institutions could be restored.

He said that during the tenure of Shahbaz Sharif, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) sponsored and backed qabza mafia and drug-dealers through and within the police. The minister said PM Imran Khan exercised zero tolerance policy for qabza mafia and black-mailers.

According to Kasur correspondent, a search operation was conducted in Kasur area, in the limits of Raja Jang police station Wednesday night for the arrest of main accused Abid.

Five relatives of the accused Abid, including a woman, are still in custody in the case. A contingent of the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) and police cordoned off Rao Khanwala area of Raja Jang police station and its adjoining settlements. House-to-house search was also conducted. However, the main accused could not be arrested.

In another development, police also recorded the initial statement of the wife of prime suspect Abid Ali. Bushra Bibi said her husband looked worried when he returned home after the incident and fled when he was identified. She said she was not aware of her husband’s present location.

Police had arrested Bushra Bibi, a resident of tehsil Tandlianwala district Faisalabad on Wednesday. She had contracted second marriage with the suspect and had four children from her first marriage and one daughter from Abid.

Bushra and Abid had escaped when the authorities made an attempt to arrest the accused in Sheikhupura. Their daughter is in police custody after the parents abandoned her while fleeing their house.

Five relatives of Abid Ali were arrested on Wednesday night as Lahore Police carried out an operation in Rao Khan Wala area of Kasur on a tip-off. Police sources told that Abid Ali had contacted his relatives two days ago. The arrested persons have been shifted to Lahore for further investigation.