The Punjab government has launched a manhunt to apprehend the suspects in the Lahore motorway gang rape case after having identified both of them “using scientific evidence”.
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar while vowing that the two culprits will be arrested soon, announced Rs2.5 million reward for any information leading to their arrest. He said that the identity of those bringing forward any information will be kept confidential.
Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani said that the police has the entire record of both suspects in the case.
“A special investigation was constituted in which officers from the CTD, Special Branch, and an officer from the unit of violence against women were a part of the team,” Ghani said.
He said that the entire area where the incident took place was canvassed.
“Geo-fencing of the entire area was carried out, data was taken from the Election Commission of Pakistan, fingerprints were taken from the site, and DNA tests were conducted,” he said.
Ghani said that scientific investigation is a time-consuming process.
“Chief Minister Buzdar has cooperated with us throughout and was in contract with us even at night — till 1:30, 2am,” he said.
The police chief said that ultimately, yesterday night, “through scientific evidence”, the prime suspect was identified as Abid Ali.
“Ali is a resident of Bahawalnagar, Fort Abbas,” he said.
“Our teams worked hard to gain information about Ali and were able to get information on his family, his prior records, his CNIC, and number.”
IGP Ghani said that after the police went through the records they had gathered they got to know that the suspect had four sims registered in his name that he used on several occasions. All of the sims, however, were currently non-functional.
“Ultimately, we tracked down another number — that was not registered to his name — and it proved our suspicions right. Through this number, we were able to reach his partner as well,” he said.
The Punjab police chief added: “We are 95% sure that [the person we have tracked down] is his partner as his phone signals were traced to the location of the crime [at the time of the incident].”
He said that today, at 12pm, “we were ready to raid their residences and apprehend them”, but upon reaching the locations found that they are not there.
“The police were then able to track down the suspects’ residences to Qila Sattar Shah, District Sheikhupura,” IGP Ghani said.
“Unfortunately, despite raiding both the suspects’ residences, we were not able to get a hold of them,” he added.
He said that owing to information out in the public domain, the suspects “were aware that the cops were closing in”.