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JIT to probe reports of bank accounts held by Zainab rape-murder suspect

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LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif has taken notice of reports of multiple bank accounts of the accused in Zainab rape and murder case, and directed the joint investigation team (JIT) to probe into the matter.

The Punjab government, on the chief minister’s directives, has notified addition of a representative of the State Bank of Pakistan and DG Forensic Science Laboratory to the already existing JIT in the case, headed by a deputy inspector general (DIG).

Police officials confirmed the addition of the two members to the team.

The JIT has been directed to probe reports by a private media house suggesting that the accused, Imran Ali Naqshbandi, has several bank accounts.

The investigation team has been ordered to investigate the matter and report on its findings.

On Wednesday, a special anti-terrorism court (ATC) handed Imran to police on a 14-day physical remand. During proceedings, the accused admitted to the rape and murder of Zainab.

Responding to the honourable Judge Sajjad Ali’s question about the accused man’s missing beard, the prosecutor said that the man had shaved it off after murdering Zainab.

Zainab was kidnapped from near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4. Her body was discovered in a garbage heap five days later. On Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a news conference confirmed that Imran had murdered seven-year-old Zainab, referring to him as a “serial killer”.

“He [Imran] admitted to all his crimes in a polygraph test that was conducted after his DNA matched the samples,” Sharif said during the news conference.

Imran Khan demands investigation into alleged child pornography wing

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan has demanded a thorough probe by a high-powered joint investigation team (JIT) into reports of a child pornography wing allegedly operating in Kasur.

“After the arrest of Imran Ali in the Zainab case, a tale of a well-connected operation of child pornography, abuse & murder is unravelling as he is found to have numerous bank accts,” the PTI chairperson said in a tweet on Thursday.

“Clearly the scale of these crimes against (SIC) our innocent children shows involvement of powerful people,” he said, stressing that a ‘strong JIT’ should thoroughly investigate the reports.

“A strong JIT must investigate this thoroughly including the Kasur child pornography case which Rana Sanaullah shamefully dismissed as a land dispute.”

Accused used sweets to lure victims

Investigators have revealed that Imran, was 24 and unmarried. He was a resident of the same neighbourhood as Zainab.

Officials in the JIT disclosed that Imran revealed during interrogation that he kidnapped Zainab at 6:45 pm.

“When he couldn’t find an appropriate place [to rape her], he roamed around with her for over 1.5 kilometres and took her to a pile of garbage as he feared being caught if he went to a residential area,” the JIT official revealed, quoting Imran.

Imran reportedly said further that he used to kidnap girls from the houses where he was employed. He allegedly confessed to raping eight girls in under-construction houses and two on garbage piles.

Sources said Imran would take the girls out on the pretext of buying candy and hair clips, adding that he took Kainat Batool out on the pretext of buying yoghurt and later raped her. She survived and is presently under treatment at a hospital in Lahore.

Imran spent hours around Zainab’s house. His DNA matches those of eight girls whereas the samples of two girls raped earlier were wasted leading to an inconclusive DNA result.

The jacket that led to the suspect

A jacket owned by Imran (the suspect) as among the evidence that helped the police to narrow down on the suspect, revealed a BBC report.

The CCTV video which went viral showed the suspect wearing a zip-up jacket having two giant buttons at either side of the jacket top. However, the CCTV footage did not clearly show the jacket’s colour.

The police nonetheless carried out a raid at the suspect’s house where a black jacket with a similar design was found. Imran was eventually arrested as the prime accused after his DNA matched with the sample collected from the site where Zainab’s body was dumped.

According to the report, the suspect’s mother aided the police in tracking him down after his DNA samples matched.

After the police arrested Imran, the suspect reportedly confessed to assaulting eight minor girls at an under-construction site and two others in a garbage heap. He also admitted to murdering five minor girls at an under-construction site and throwing away the bodies of three others in a garbage pile, sources said.

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