ATC records statement of victim woman in motorway gang-rape case

F.P. Report

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday recorded statement of the victim woman during the hearing of motorway gang-rape case in jail.

Deputy Prosecutor General Waqar Bhatti told APP that the court recorded the statement of the victim woman, first investigation officer and seven others including Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) experts, during the proceedings on Thursday.

He stated that the defence counsel also completed cross examination from the eight of said witnesses whereas the cross examination of ninth witnesses would be held on the next hearing.

He stated that the court also allowed an application filed by the prosecution Under Section 540 of Cr PC for summoning kids of the victim woman and granting them anonymity. He stated that the kids were produced in the court but after initial inquiries, the court declared them incompetent witness and adjourned hearing till March 13.

ATC Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta conducted the case hearing at Camp Jail, wherein jail authorities produced  Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali, prime accused and co-accused.

Deputy Prosecutor General Hafiz  Asghar and Deputy Prosecutor General Waqar Bhatti represented the prosecution whereas advocates Sher Gull Qureshi and Qasim Arain appeared on behalf of the accused.

It is pertinent to mention here that the court had recorded statements of 34 prosecution witnesses so far after the accused denied the charges on being indicted.

The Gujjarpura police had filed a challan against the accused, wherein they were declared guilty. The police had requested the court for awarding strict punishment to the accused as sufficient evidence was available against them. The police had also submitted a list of 53 witnesses.

On September 9, the accused- Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali,  allegedly raped a woman at gunpoint in Gujjarpura area while she was waiting for help on the motorway after her car ran out of fuel.

An FIR of the incident was lodged with the Gujjarpura police under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).