Police has conducted raids in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore to arrest culprits involved in the gang rape of a woman on Lahore-Sialkot motorway.
“Police have arrested 12 men suspected of involvement in the alleged gang-rape of a woman” Punjab government spokesperson Mussarat Cheema on Thursday.
Two “robbers” allegedly raped the woman at gunpoint in Gujjarpura area on Wednesday while she was waiting for help on the motorway after her car developed a fault.
A police official said as the woman crossed the toll plaza on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway, her car stalled either due to shortage of petrol or some fault.
Meanwhile, she got a call from a relative of Gujranwala, who asked her to call the police helpline for help while he also left from home to reach her. When he reached the location, he found the woman terrified with her clothes stained with blood, English newspaper Daily Dawn reported.
The police official said two armed men found the woman alone, took her and her children to a nearby fields at gunpoint and gang-raped her, adding that police had formed teams to trace the culprits.
Cheema said in a tweet today that Punjab Police and related departments were “working in close coordination to capture those involved in [the] painful motorway incident”.
“So far 12 suspects have been arrested and search is going on,” she said.
A statement released by the Punjab Police also confirmed the arrests and said that 20 teams of Lahore Police and CIA, headed by the deputy inspector general of police (investigation), had been constituted on the orders of Inspector General Inam Ghani to investigate the case.
Punjab Police and allied departments are working in close coordination to capture those involved in Painful motorway incident. So far 12 suspects have been arrested and search is going on.
— Musarrat Cheema (@MusarratCheema) September 10, 2020
The police teams are “working day and night”, the statement said, to identify the accused by gathering DNA evidence, geofencing, examining CCTV footage and Nadra records.
“More than half of the suspects in the case are being investigated and raids are being carried out to nab dozens of former record holders in such incidents,” IGP Ghani was quoted as saying.
During a meeting, Ghani said that command officers should consider it as a test case and bring it to a logical conclusion as early as possible, the statement said.
“Irresponsibility would not be tolerated in arresting the social criminals involved in sexual violence and oppression,” he said.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a statement, condemned the sexual assault of the lady in Lahore as well as that of a five-year-old child, who had been murdered and torched after being raped in Karachi, which surfaced on Sunday. He summoned reports of both incidents from the IGs of the provinces.
“The protection of women is the government’s foremost priority and responsibility. Such brutality and savagery cannot be allowed in any civilised society. Such incidents are against our social values and an ugly stain on our society,” the statement released by PM Office said.
The prime minister also stressed on the need to strengthen laws for the protection of women and children.
Meanwhile, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that the ministry’s regional office “immediately asked for an action report from the police”.
The ministry received the report as well as a copy of the first information report (FIR) of the incident, she added.