Wednesday July 06, 2022

Train rape incident: DNA report confirms involvement of key suspects

June 24, 2022

KARACHI: In the latest development, the DNA samples of three main suspects matched with those of the victim who was raped in the Bahauddin Zakariya Express train while travelling from Punjab to Karachi, The News learnt on Thursday.

In a shocking incident, the 25-year-old divorced woman, a mother of two children, was raped by three employees of the privately-run train while she was travelling alone in the economy class. The incident happened when the ticket checker offered her a seat in the air-conditioned compartment of the Multan-Karachi train, where he along with other train employees subjected her to sexual abuse.

Five employees of the privately-run train, Muhammad Zahid, Aqib Munir, Muhammad Zohaib, Amir Raza and Abdul Hafeez, have been booked by the railways police for the heinous crime. The suspects are currently in judicial custody. Initially, Zahid, a ticket checker, Aqib, train manager, and Zohaib were arrested during raids in various areas of Punjab while the two others were also taken into custody later for allegedly aiding and abetting the crime.

Prosecution sources privy to the development revealed the railways police have received a DNA profiling report of the suspects and the victim from a Lahore-based forensic laboratory, according to which the samples taken from the three key accused and the victim have matched. The report confirmed their involvement in assaulting the woman, they said.

Meanwhile, the woman recorded her statement before a judicial magistrate under the Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), recounting the ordeal she had gone through on May 27. The 164 CrPC statement is considered important for the conviction of the suspects.

A first information report (FIR) had been lodged at the Railways police station under Section 377 (punishment for rape) and 34 (common intent) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). The victim, who is also the complainant of the case, reported her ordeal to the railways police after getting off the train on reaching Karachi. The shocking incident occurred when the woman was returning after visiting her children in Punjab.