Kasur turned tense on Tuesday as residents surrounded the house of a suspect arrested for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Amin, whose DNA matches samples taken from the crime scene.
Earlier today, police sources told DawnNews of the arrest of the suspect, saying his DNA was a match with samples on record, but the Punjab government has yet to confirm this information.
As a mob began gathering around the house, police also reached the area urging people to remain calm in order to avoid any untoward incident. Television footage showed a contingent of police in riot gear deployed to secure the surrounding area.
Malik Ahmed Khan, a spokesperson for the Punjab government, told DawnNews that the suspect had been arrested from Pakpattan.
“We have found some initial evidence [against the suspect] and there is well-found reason to believe that he is the culprit,” the spokesperson said.
Khan, citing police, said that the suspect used to disguise himself. “Sometimes he would keep a beard, sometimes he would wear spectacles, and he would change his clothes,” Khan said, adding that some of the suspect’s accomplices are also in police custody.
The provincial government spokesperson added that a detailed forensic report would be available at 7pm, after which he would be able to confirm the reports regarding a DNA match. He said all details would be shared with the media then.
He said that suspects who had been arrested earlier were released when the DNA reports cleared them.
According to police sources, the suspect arrested today is a resident of the same area where Zainab’s house is located, and lives very close to the victim’s aunt’s house.
His appearance matches that of an individual seen with Zainab in CCTV footage recovered by police, according to the sources.
He was arrested as part of the investigation earlier but was let go, the sources said, adding that he then left Kasur. He was arrested again after more evidence was collected.
On January 4, Zainab went missing after leaving her house on Kasur’s Road Kot area for her maternal aunt’s house a few minutes away for religious lessons.
A few days later, the victim’s body was recovered from a trash heap. An autopsy confirmed that she was strangled to death. It suggested that she had been raped before being killed.
Police had confirmed on January 13 that the results of DNA tests carried out in the wake of the rape and murder of Zainab in Kasur, indicated the involvement of one culprit in at least seven similar cases that occurred in the district over the past year.
Zainab’s rape and murder had sparked outrage in Kasur and across the country. The day her body was found, protesters had taken to the streets in Kasur, agitating against perceived police inaction.
The police had gone into overdrive, scrambling for leads to solve the heinous crime. Earlier, the investigation team formed to probe the crime had arrested a 23-year-old suspect. However, he was released after a DNA report cleared him.