By Muhammad Luqman
Two-week long efforts by Pakistan’s Punjab police to track the serial rapist and killer culminated into success on Tuesday after it arrested the 24 old youth responsible for molestation and murder of 6 years old Zainab and seven other minor girls in the eastern city of Kasur over the last two years. “ Police and other law enforcement agencies have been able in tracking and arresting the serial killer,” Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif told a news conference in Lahore . Besides DNA matching, the polygraph test has also been conducted to confirm culprit’s involvement in these heinous crimes. Chief Minister Shehabaz Sharif also expressed gratitude to Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for military intelligence agencies’ contribution to the efforts for the arrest of the serial killer. He announced that the culprit would be tried in anti-terrorism court so that he gets exemplary punishment.. Soon after the national media broke the news of arrest of the culprit, the residents of Kasur city surrounded the house of a suspect arrested for the rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab Amin. Aa mob began gathering around the house. Police 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 media that the suspect had been arrested from the adjoining district, 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. He said that some of the suspects who had been arrested earlier were released when the DNA reports cleared them. According to police, the youth 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, 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.