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Punjab police seeks other provinces’ help to arrest motorway rape accused

LAHORE: Punjab police department has shared the details of the prime suspect involved in the motorway gang-rape case, with other provinces’ law enforcers to help arrest him.

Punjab police shared all relevant details of the absconding suspect with the police departments of other provinces, seeking their help in arresting him besides setting up check posts at the entry and exits of the province to prevent possible cross-border movement of the suspect.

Punjab police warned citizens and law enforcement personnel to be wary of the prime suspect still at large in the motorway gang-rape case, adding that the accused may change appearance in an attempt to hide.

READ MORE: Motorway gang-rape victim identified both suspects: Minister

Two armed men allegedly gang-raped a woman stranded with her children on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway before robbing her of money and other valuables. However, the prime suspect, Abid Ali, is yet to be caught.

Police and other law enforcers ramp up search efforts, widen the scope of the investigation, and put technology to use to arrest the suspect, authorities have circulated various possible appearances that Abid may change into in order to avoid being caught.

Read more: Motorway gang-rape victim identified both suspects: Minister

Four images have been sent across police stations so that should anyone spot someone bearing resemblance to any of the photos, they may easily inform authorities.

Among the four photos distributed, one shows Abid with his original face and hairstyle, a second one with a bald head and mustache, another where he is clean-shaved with a bald head, and the last with a French beard. In all four, his primary features have not been altered.

To date, authorities have taken four men into custody, of whom one has confessed to involvement in the horrific crime.

The four include Waqarul Hassan Shah, his brother-in-law, Abbas, Shafqat Ali, and Bala Mistri. Of these, Waqar and Abbas are no longer suspects and Shafqat confessed to the gang-rape, according to police.

READ MORE: ATC approves 14-day judicial remand of gang-rape suspect

Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had said that Shafqat’s DNA had matched with the sample obtained from the victim.

The Lahore motorway gang-rape case has renewed the debate on such incidents, with much demanding capital punishment for the perpetrators.

The Punjab government had also offered an Rs2.5 million reward for any information leading to the arrest of Abid. The identity of those bringing forward any information will be kept confidential.

On Thursday, Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hasan Chohan had confirmed that the Lahore Motorway gang-rape victim had identified both perpetrators, including Abid Ali.

Read more: 12 suspects arrested for allegedly raping woman on Lahore motorway

“The victim has identified both Abid and Shafqat. It was due to Waqar’s arrest that we were able to reach Shafqat,” Fayyaz said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.

He informed that the victim also assured cooperation with the concerned authorities for further investigation in the Motorway case. “Investigation into the gang-rape is almost concluded, however, one of the prime suspects is still at large,” he added.

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