The Lahore Anti-Terrorism Court has reserved its verdict on the completion of the trial in the Motorway Gang Rape case, which will be announced on March 20.
Anti-terrorism court Judge Arshad Hussain Bhatta will rule on the case on March 20. During the trial, the statements of 40 witnesses were recorded and a three-member special prosecution team recorded the statements of witnesses in jail.
During the trial, the victim also appeared in the jail court, recorded her statement and identified the accused.
The final statements of the accused were also recorded before the anti-terrorism court and their cross-examination was also completed.
It may be recalled that due to security concerns, the accused were faced a trial in jail while a case was registered against the accused in Gujjarpura police station under other provisions including terrorism.
During the hearing in the anti-terrorism court on March 16, the statements of all the 40 witnesses against the accused were recorded based on solid evidence and today the verdict was reserved by recording the final statement of the accused.
Earlier on March 3, the court had indicted both the main accused Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali while the accused had pleaded not guilty.
Police had filed a 200-page challan on February 20 after several court respite, in which the accused were found guilty.
Police recorded the statements of 40 witnesses in the challan and the challan said that Abid Malhi and Shafqat Baga had robbed and raped the woman.
The challan said that the accused were identified in the parade jail and their DNA was also matched which matched while both the accused have also confessed their guilt during interrogation.
Motorway rape case
It may be recalled that a woman was gang-raped by two armed men in the Gujjarpura area on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway between Tuesday and Wednesday night, September 9, while she was waiting for help with her children when the vehicle stopped after running out of fuel.
The details of the incident revealed that a woman over 30 years of age, a resident of Defense Housing Society, Lahore, along with her two children, got stuck on the motorway at around 1 am when her car ran out of petrol.
Meanwhile, the woman had also called a relative, who had asked the woman to call the motorway helpline while he himself had left to reach the spot.
However, while the woman was trying to arrange for help, two men came and took her and her children (under the age of 8) at gunpoint to a nearby field. They raped the woman in front of the children, after which the men took away cash and valuables.
A relative of the woman who reached the spot after the incident had also registered a case of the incident at Gujjarpura police station in her complaint.
However, after the incident, Lahore CCPO Omar Sheikh had issued a statement that caused controversy and after that, persons from various walks of life demanded his removal.
Later, Inspector General of Police (IG) Inam Ghani issued a show-cause notice to Capital City Police Officer Lahore Omar Sheikh for victim-blaming, on September 14 he apologized for his statement.
Not only this, after the incident, there was intense anger among the people on which the government also took action and IG Punjab Police had formed various investigation teams while Punjab Chief Minister Usman Bazdar also organized a special session headed by provincial law minister Raja Basharat to form the committee.
on September 12, the Punjab Chief Minister along with IG Punjab Inam Ghani and others had said in a press conference that they had managed to reach the real culprits in less than 72 hours.
It was also informed on the occasion that the main accused in the incident was identified as Abid Ali and his DNA matched while efforts are underway to arrest him.
However, on September 13, co-accused Waqarul Hassan was arrested and he denied the allegations against him.
On September 14, the Punjab Chief Minister said that the accused involved in the rape of a woman, Shafqat, has been arrested, whose DNA not only matched the location samples, but he has also confessed to the crime.
On September 15, the Lahore Anti-Terrorism Court had sent the accused to jail on a 14-day judicial remand for raping a woman during a robbery on the Sialkot Motorway.
Later, Abid Malhi, the main accused in the motorway abuse case, was arrested from Faisalabad on October 12.
Abid, the leader of a four-member gang, was also wanted by the police in 10 other cases registered in different police stations in Punjab.
Police said on October 21 that the identification parade of the accused was completed at the camp jail where the victim identified the accused.