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ATC indicts two suspects in motorway gang-rape case

LAHORE: An anti-terrorism court on Wednesday has indicted two suspects in the Lahore-Sialkot motorway gang-rape case.

Prime suspect Abid Malhi and co-suspect Shafqat Bagga were presented before the court and pleaded not guilty. Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta directed the prosecution to provide a copy of the charges to their lawyers and present witnesses at the next hearing.

A special team of prosecutors produced the witnesses who recorded their statements before the judge adjourned the hearing till Thursday. As many as 53 prosecution witnesses had been enlisted in the investigation report, including the complainant woman and the person who reported the incident on the police helpline.

According to the prosecution, the victim identified the suspects during an identification parade inside the jail in the presence of a judicial magistrate. Police has recorded the victim’s statement thrice.

Police also recovered a pistol and a club used in the crime from the custody of the suspects, besides their mobile phones. Malhi had snatched over Rs100,000 from the victim which he spent while fleeing from police.

Police had traced the suspects with the help of DNA samples maintained by the forensic science agency which matched with the blood stains found at the crime scene. The investigation officer in his report claimed that the suspects had confessed to their crime.

The incident occurred on On September 9, 2020 when a woman along with her children was waiting for help on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway after her car ran out of fuel when she was forcefully brought out of the car at gunpoint and gang-raped in Gujjarpura area on the outskirts of the provincial capital.