LAHORE: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted police a 14-day physical remand of Zainab’s suspected murderer on Wednesday.
23-year-old Imran Ali, who was arrested by police on Tuesday, was produced in front of special court Judge Sajjad Ahmed today.
The suspect, whose face was covered when he arrived at the court, was surrounded by officials of Punjab Elite Police Force.
State prosecutor Abdul Rauf Watto had originally requested the court to grant a 15-day physical remand so that investigators could interrogate the suspect about his alleged involvement in other similar cases.
Telling the court about the initial investigation results, Watto said that police had learned that the suspect used to lure children by promising to buy them sweets.
When the judge asked if he had any proof, Watto said that the suspect had been given a polygraph test that confirmed this claim. When the court asked why the suspect was clean-shaven even though the initial CCTV footage showed a man with a beard, the prosecutor said that he had shaved his beard off after he allegedly murdered Zainab.
After the ATC agreed to grant a 14-day remand, the suspect was taken to the Counter-Terrorism Department headquarters amid heavy security.
Chief Justice of Lahore High Court (LHC) Mansoor Ali Shah has ordered a daily hearing of eight-year-old Zainab’s rape and murder case for which the first hearing, conducted by Judge Sheikh Sajjad on Wednesday.
Two brothers and five sisters of the suspect were also detained while his house was shut as the locals attempted to set it on fire. Sources privy to the investigators revealed that the alleged culprit had shaved off his beard after CCTV footages were widely broadcast on national television channels before his identification.
He had fled to Pakpattan after Zainab’s murder case was reported nationally and to Arifwala from there before returning to hometown days later.
Police detained six alleged accomplices of Imran, out of which four were revealed to have helped him hide in their houses while one agreed to become an approver.