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Three more police officers included in JIT

Updated January 12, 2018

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LAHORE: The Punjab government on Thursday expanded the scope of investigation into the rape-cum-murder of 8-year-old Zainab in Kasur by including three more senior police officers in the joint investigation team.

The chief minister also engaged the Punjab counter terrorism department, directing its head to separately work on the case.

The JIT was being headed by Punjab police Additional Inspector General Abubakar Khuda Bux with four other senior officers, including Sheikhupura Regional Police Officer Zulfiqar Hameed, as its members.

A senior official told Dawn the chief minister in a meeting on Thursday discussed the matter pertaining to the identity of the criminal behind Zainab’s murder.

It was decided that maximum number of expert police officers would be engaged in the investigation to resolve the case.

During the meeting, he said, the chief minister expressed his displeasure at the performance of the Punjab police senior command, including Sheikhupura RPO, for failing to control the agitation in Kasur following the tragic incident.

He said the protests turned violent because of the inability of the Kasur’s sacked district police officer and other senior officers in the region to preempt the situation.

Showing his lack of trust in the police command of Sheikhupura region, the chief minister ordered expanding of the scope of investigation into the case by engaging more expert police officers.

He also directed Punjab Inspector General of Police retired Capt Arif Nawaz to involve the CTD in the investigations aimed at tracing the culprit(s).

The official said on the directions of the CM, the IG directed Punjab investigation DIG Waqas Nazeer and Lahore investigation DIG Chaudhry Sultan to reach Kasur and start working on the case.

Meanwhile, he also directed Punjab CTD additional IG Rai Tahir to launch separate investigations to trace the killer(s).

A police source said the CTD dispatched two teams to Kasur to first collect data of more CCTV cameras installed in Kasur city to trace the movement of the suspect who was seen in a footage taking the victim to an undisclosed place. Secondly, he said, the teams would make profiles of all the close relatives of the girl, he added.

The official said over 200 plainclothesmen have also been deputed in the city, particularly in the jurisdictions of three police stations where the incidents of children’s kidnapping were reported frequently.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018