The survivor of the Lahore motorway gang-rape on Wednesday identified the prime accused, Abid Malhi, as one of the perpetrators of the crime.
The Punjab Police arrested Malhi on October 12, over a month after the horrific gang rape of the woman. He had earlier managed to escape from the clutches of law enforcers in three previous raids.
Malhi, along with his accomplice Shafqat Ali, is the prime accused in the case. The crime was committed in front of the survivor’s three children during a robbery bid on the Lahore Sialkot motorway near Karol Ghati forest where her car had stopped after running out of fuel.
According to Express, Malhi was identified during the identification parade which took place in Lahore’s Camp Jail today on court’s orders. The other accused, Ali, had already been identified before.
Both suspects have pleaded guilty.
Earlier it was reported that the police had arrested the accused from Faisalabad. However, an investigator privy to the development said Malhi was arrested from Mangamandi, Lahore.
According to sources, the arrest took place after the Punjab Inspector General Police (IGP) Inam Ghani literally tasked the entire police of the country’s most populous province to nab the accused.
After going into hiding, the accused had evaded multiple raids mainly due to police’s ill planning. In the first raid, he was at his house in Qila Sattar Shah, Sheikhupura and fled after seeing a police party. Reportedly, the team that had tracked him had reached before the reinforcements.
The second arrest bid was foiled by him in Kasur when only four policemen raided his hideout. Later on, a heavy contingent of police kept on conducting search operations for him. In Nankana Sahib, police had reached very late despite being informed.
A special police team headed by DIG Shahzada Sultan had at least 28 teams – including that of the Crime Investigation Agency (CIA), the Investigation Wing, the Special Branch and the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) –at its disposal with all the resources of Punjab Police to arrest him.
However, frustrated due to the prolonged and repeated failure to arrest the suspect, IGP Inam Ghani had later engaged police of the entire province for the manhunt.
He had deployed each member of the District Security branch to search for him at every possible hideout throughout Punjab. The IGP had also formed a Rapid Response Force, with a team in each district, with the sole purpose of rushing to arrest on a tipoff about Malhi.